Continuing Washington Wine Month, we bring you a feature on one of the iconic names in Washington wine, Chris Upchurch, clearly one the top winemakers in the state. Chris has served as head winemaker at DeLille for many years and continues to oversee production there. Following his degree from the University of Washington, Chris began working as a wine merchant, which helped him refine his palate through some of the best wines from around the world before becoming the founding winemaker and partner of DeLille Cellars. For more than Chris has gained incredible experience about Washington wine and Washington terroir as head winemaker at DeLille. In 2007 Chris found the perfect plot of land on Red Mountain and started his own winery, Upchurch Vineyard. Last year his 2013 Upchurch Vineyard Cabernet (WWB, 94) landed at #73 on my Top 100 wines of North America (http://www.washingtonwineblog.com/top-100/#/2016-top-100/). This was an absolutely massive and structured wine that is meant for the cellar.
HIs 2014 Upchurch Vineyard Cabernet (WWB, 93) was stunning, just as his last release. I recently had the chance to sit down with Chris and chat about his new Cabernet wine. He was very pleased with the result, as he loved the combination of structure, intense dark fruits and aging potential. I could not agree more. The vineyard remains rather young but has a ton of potential. While I think that this wine probably should sit in the cellar for at least one more year before enjoying, the wine clearly has incredible cellaring potential as the massive structure and tannins of this wine impress. Learn more about this impressive winery at https://upchurchvineyard.com/ Here is my review of the gorgeous new 2014 Upchurch Vineyard Cabernet.
2014 Upchurch Vineyard Cabernet- The 2014 Upchurch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is an impressive follow up to their gorgeous 2013 bottling. Superstar winemaker, Chris Upchurch, has blended in 9% Merlot to his Cabernet wine and has aged the wine in new French oak (Taransaud & Orion) prior to bottling. Chris has mostly used Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 2 which he feels adds to the floral aspect of the wine. The new oak influence is quite minimal at this juncture, as the wine is currently displaying pretty aromatics of red currant, fresh rose petals, black cherry, black olive and sagebrush influences. The mid-palate minerality and structure is impressive. There are ripe flavors of sweet tobacco, red cherry, red raspberry, sagebrush and wild blackberry pie. Try to give this beautiful Cabernet another year to settle and for the fruit to further integrate. Drink 2018-2033- 93