If you’ve read this blog or followed any of my social media, you know that I’m a big fan of Washington wine. Like really. I get asked (A LOT) about affordable wines and so often I find myself pointing folks to Washington where they can get some nice QPR for wines.
I had a neighbor recently feature WA wines for a wedding after I pointed her in the direction of good WA wine that she could afford to buy by the caseload. What’s more, so many times I visit a winery, buy a lot of wine to bring home, but then can’t find the wine locally (y’all, I have psychological issues about shipping costs)1 when I want more.
So I’m always thrilled when I can find some of those travel gems locally. Case in point, the wines of DeLille Cellars. I first encountered DeLille when I visited Woodinville for a wine trip. It was one of those places where I purchased EVERY wine I tried and even one I didn’t get to taste (cause I had faith it would deliver too).
As the third oldest operating winery in Washington, they are considered pioneers of the state’s wine industry. Known for crafting artisan, “Bordeaux-style” blends,2 they truly showcase what is so special about Washington wine – bold, concentrated wines that provide both structure and fruit. And if you’re into that kind of thing, the wines consistently pull high scores from the top wine critics.3 Scores aside, they are just damn good wines.
And now, some of their wines are available in Houston.4 Yay! I’ve even encountered them more and more on local restaurant lists. Of course, it was a no-brainer to accept a couple of samples from them. Here are a couple I tasted recently.
2016 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Blanc
This may seriously be one of my favorite white wines I’ve had all year! Back in the day, crafting a white Bordeaux-style blend was unheard of in Washington. But DeLille changed that when they created their first Chaleur Blanc back in 1995. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc (68%) & Sémillon(32%), the wine is aged sur lie in French oak barrels. It’s even been served at the White House over three administrations. And while it’s a “Bordeaux-style” blend, its has its own American identity. Vanilla creme, tropical fruit, minerality and amazing med+ acidity.
D2 takes its name from the grand route du vin, or great wine road that travels through the Medoc peninsula in Bordeaux. It was created as a second wine to DeLille’s Chaleur Estate wine, but it soon became one of the winery’s most sought after labels. It’s obviously a hit as 2016 marks the 25th vintage of this wine. With Merlot always taking the honor as the most prominent variety in the blend, D2 is a traditional Bordeaux-style blend sourced from over 15 of the state’s most prestigious vineyards across the Columbia Valley. Crafted of Merlot (59%), Cabernet Sauvignon (34%), Cabernet Franc (4%), Malbec (2%) and Petit Verdot (1%), it is lush with black and blue fruits, fine tannins, and subtle herbaceous notes. Easy drinking and oh so good.
If you’re in Washington State for some wine tasting, I’d highly recommend including them in your lineup. Cheers for now.
- Some may call it being cheap, but whatev. It takes a LOT for me to fork over shipping costs for wine.
- This just means that they make wines that are blends. I wish there was another term for these blended wines, particularly since there are many other regions also known for blended wines (Chateaneuf du Pape anyone?) but I guess “red blends” is not as exciting of a term?
- Over 200 of their wines have been highly-rated with scores of 90+.
- Shoutout to Spec’s!