DeLille Chaleur Blanc 2016 | Bright, Balanced & Refreshing Knockout
93WA | DeLille Chaleur Blanc 2016 presents a bright golden color with lemon yellow hue. Succulent passionfruit and peach aromas counterpointed by complex notes of vanilla, clove, fresh citrus, and lemongrass. While Bright on the palate with a keen balance of fruit sweetness to crisp acidity. Yet leaving a long, refreshing finish. Drink now-2024.
94ST | DeLille Chaleur Blanc 2016 displays a bright, light yellow-gold. Multidimensional nose melds aromas of stone fruits, pineapple, and pear. In addition with notes of savory spices, honey and lemongrass and a Riesling-like piney quality. While compellingly fine-grained, concentrated and harmonious from the start, with a suggestion of figgy sweetness. While the wine is technically bone-dry, yet perfectly countered by strong acidity. Finishes tactile and very long, tighter early on. But this is a knockout nonetheless and has the balance for mid-term aging.
DeLille Cellars | Lafite-Rothschild of Washington State
Robert Parker saluted Chris Upchurch and his Bordeaux-style wines by dubbing DeLille Cellars the “Lafite-Rothschild of Washington State. But Upchurch took his cues for the DeLille Chaleur Blanc 2016 directly from the white wine of another historic Bordeaux property: Château Haut-Brion. Since debuting two decades ago, Chaleur Blanc has become one of the standard-bearers for Bordeaux-style whites in the New World. While its 94 points from Vinous made this “knockout” Washington State’s highest-scoring white wine of the 2016 vintage. Plus it is often compared to wines from Peter Michael and Luc Morlet that command three times the price.
The 2016 edition consists of 68% Sauvignon Blanc and 32% Sémillon, drawn from the prestigious Sagemoor, Boushey, and Klipsun vineyards and fermented in 54% new French oak. Two decades after it was first conceived, Chaleur Blanc has earned its place as one of the most inspired Bordeaux-style whites outside of Pessac-Léognan.
A barrel-fermented blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon that spends seven months on the lees, DeLille Chaleur Blanc 2016 is creamy, succulent, bright, and beautifully balanced. Most of all, a Bordeaux-style white inspired by the best in the world. Also, it is one of the best representations in the New World. $38 from the winery, or just $24 on case buys.
Winemaker Chris Upchurch
At DeLille, Chris Upchurch has long been one of the state’s leaders with Bordeaux-style wines. But as the high potential of Rhône varieties in the warm climate and volcanic soils of Washington State became clear, DeLille began dedicating serious resources to their Rhône-style wines. It didn’t take long for Upchurch to make a raft of wines earning 93 points and above.
“Plush, sappy and utterly seamless” is how Vinous describes Chris Upchurch’s homage to the Southern Rhône. This is a gorgeous Washington blend, not only crafted by one of the state’s top winemakers, but also from three of the state’s marquee vineyards.