Delille Chaleur Estate Blanc 2011
By Shawn Luke
Delille has been making great wines in Washington since 1992. When I visited the tasting room in Woodinville back in May 2012, I finally was able to taste the exceptional quality across both the Delille and Doyenne lineups. Joining their wine club was a no-brainer. Most wines I consume are reds, but in a recent club shipment, Delille sent me a bottle of their 2011 Chaleur Estate Blanc, which was created with a traditional Bordeaux blend of 62% Sauvignon Blanc and 38% Semillon. The grapes come from some of the very best vineyards in Washington. The composition includes 24% Boushey Sauvignon Blanc – Yakima Valley AVA, 21% Klipsun Sauvignon Blanc – Red Mountain AVA, 17% Sagemoor Sauvignon Blanc – Columbia Valley AVA, 29% Boushey Semilllon – Yakima Valley AVA and 9% Klipsun Semillon – Red Mountain AVA.
The wine primarily displays a pale and pastel yellow color but some brighter yellow hints do sneak in depending on the light. The initial aromas are layers of stone fruits with yellow peaches, some white peaches, and apricots. Then a slightly more-prominent almond brown emerges. This doesn’t quite get to the citrus fruits but stays on the bright and fresh side of those stone fruits. A slightly brown wood influence adds richness to the nose. Delivers a nice medium mouthfeel with a texture that nudges up to oily but then the acidity provides lift that balances it out. More almond and brown notes mix with the returning bright peaches, with some pear and a little apricot blending in. There’s a nice smooth transition to the finish delivered by the polished texture. The finish is quite lengthy with acid-driven stone fruits, then more almond notes and a clean barrel nuance. The acids lean it up to lemon for a second but then it returns to the stone fruits. The finish extends for 30-45 seconds, fading gently. This is very nicely done, showing a deft touch with the oak and the lees along with preservation of the acidity. The elegance and lengthy finish earn it extra points. 93 – 13.1% alcohol. Suggested retail is $35. Tasted on May 5, 2013.