DeLille Cellars Releases 25th Vintage of Chaleur Blanc
Woodinville, WA (July 10, 2020) ---- DeLille Cellars is releasing its 25th vintage of Chaleur Blanc on July 10th, celebrating this milestone with a commemorative label. Known for pioneering Bordeaux-style blends in Washington State, DeLille Cellars first crafted Chaleur Blanc, a traditional blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, in 1995.
Chaleur Blanc was DeLille Cellars’ first white wine and was inspired by a trip to Bordeaux and a meeting between founding winemaker Chris Upchurch and famed winemaker Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux.
Chaleur Blanc is crafted with grapes from three iconic vineyards spanning three different AVAs: Bacchus-Sagemoor Vineyard (Columbia Valley AVA), Boushey Vineyard (Yakima Valley AVA), and Klipsun Vineyard (Red Mountain AVA). The Sauvignon Blanc grapes sourced from Bacchus-Sagemoor Vineyard are from the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines in Washington State, planted in 1972.
"A quarter century of crafting this wine is a significant milestone for DeLille,” said Director of Winemaking Jason Gorski. “Chaleur Blanc is an incredibly complex program, and it’s no secret that it is my favorite wine to make in the cellar. When you blend over 200 individual lots together and get such harmony in the glass, it feels a bit miraculous. I will be celebrating with my favorite pairing, fresh Dungeness crab.”
Chaleur Blanc is fermented sur lie (on the lees) in French oak barrels, imparting a memorable “crème brulee” finish. The extensive barrel fermentation program includes more than a dozen different cooperages (including different barrel styles and forest origins) that contribute to over 200 individual fermentations. Three different yeast strains are used and at least 15% of the blend is fermented via native fermentation.
“We’re very proud of this wine and feel very fortunate to be working with such great vineyard partners. Sémillon makes up less than 0.1% of US wine production, so this a truly unique and special wine to make,” said DeLille CEO Tom Dugan.
As Chaleur Blanc has grown in production size and recognition, wine critics have hailed its uniqueness. In August of 2019, DeLille invited Stephen Tanzer of Vinous to partake in an almost complete vertical of Chaleur Blanc, including the first vintage. “Over the past dozen years or so it has been, according to my ratings, the single finest white wine produced in Washington State. It is no exaggeration to compare this Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blend to the finest white Bordeaux bottlings made in oak,” said Mr. Tanzer in his report of the tasting.
“It’s the best example of this style in the state,” said Sean Sullivan of Wine Enthusiast, who awarded significant ratings to recent vintages (2016 – 92 points/Editor’s Choice, 2017 – 94 points/Cellar Selection, 2018 – 93 points/Cellar Selection). Jeb Dunnuck of jebdunnuck.com and formerly of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has called Chaleur Blanc “One of the top Bordeaux white blends from the New World.”
In 2007, Chaleur Blanc made Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 List. Chaleur Blanc has also been served at the White House during various prior administrations. This new vintage, while still under review by critics, just received “97 Points, Double Gold and Best of Class” from the Sunset International Wine Competition.
DeLille Cellars is offering a special introductory price of $25 (retail $35) from July 10th through July 14th.
About DeLille Cellars
Bordeaux Inspired – Distinctly Washington – Uniquely DeLille
DeLille Cellars is the third oldest operating winery in Woodinville, WA, founded in 1992. Known for pioneering Bordeaux-style blends from Washington State, the winery has maintained a tradition of quality and excellence with over 600 individual 90+ ratings from leading publications. DeLille Cellars focuses on the Red Mountain AVA and sources grapes from Washington's most acclaimed vineyards. The winery is recognized by notable wine critics and influencers, including Robert Parker, as one of the top producers in the state. To learn more about DeLille Cellars, visit www.delillecellars.com.