Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Monday, November 06, 2006

Three Great Seattle Wineries - DeLille

Well, it was a difficult afternoon! Three wineries in one afternoon. What a way to beat the Seattle rain? First, we went to DeLille to pick up our order of Aix, the excellent Cab/Syrah Blend. As usual, there was a huge spread of cheese , meats, pastries and chocolate. Enough for breakfast and lunch if you were so inclined. Enough for mittag fressen as the Norwegians might say. All the DeLille wines were quite good, although the 2005 Chaleur Estate Blanc ( 79% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Semillon) seemed to have less body (and less Semillon?) than in previous years. The 2005 Metier Blanc ( 70% Viognier, 30% Chardonnay) seemed a little light, too. The 2004 "D2" was just not quite as elegant as many previous vintages. A little too "bright" or acidic for my taste.

The 2004 Doyenne Syrah was a knock out! Big, fruity, elegant and refined, it tasted like a European Rhone wine. It should, it even has 3% Viognier blended in, just like a Cotes Rotie. Mostly from Red Mountain fruit (59%), but beautifully balanced and softened by Yakima Valley fruit from Boushay Vineyard. Both the 2004 Chaleur and the 2004 Harrison are both blends of about 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and a tiny bit of Petit Verdot. The Chaleur, however, is mostly from Red Mountain fruit, whereas the Harrison is vitually all Yakima Valley fruit. You can tell! The 2004 Chaleur Estate Red is a beautiful Bordeaux style blend with complex fruit flavors and a bit more tannin than the Harrison. The 2004 Harrison Hill is awesome. Virtually all the fruit came from Harrison Hill Vineyard, Washington's second oldest vineyard, making the vines at least 30 years old. This dark, dense wine has strong resemblance to Bordeaux with its complex fruit, great concentration, and good backbone.

DeLille is clearly on an upward trajectory headed toward 100 points one of these days. In fact, the 2004 Harrison showed more complexity and interest than the 100 point 2003 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon which is a softer easier wine. The Harrison is more like the bigger, more complex 1998 Quilceda Creek. Definitely a winner! We can't wait to taste the 2004 Grand Ciel from DeLille.


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