Monday, April 11, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **** $$$ DeLille Cellars Doyenne Roussanne, Yakima Valley, Washington, 2009

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Initial review, by way of background: This is DeLille Cellars Doyenne Roussanne, Yakima Valley, Washington, 2009, finished at 14.2% alcohol.  Roussanne is a variety of grape typically grown in France, and often as a blending component in French white wines.  Although used in white wines, the grape itself has a reddish color, which is associated with the varietal name.  This roussanne comes entirely from one vineyard, Ciel du Cheval. Review sample provided by DeLille.

In the glass: Brilliant yellow with distinct green overtones. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows buoyant aromas of lemon citrus along with deeper, drier tones of very light earth.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bright, perhaps piercing, and aromatic.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much more complex and rounded in the mid-palate than expected.  Layers of sweet, actually lightly honeyed white fruit, with a sleek wrapper bringing aromas and sugars into your cheeks.  Alcohol lifts the honey aromatics into your cheeks, where a lengthy finish slowly subsides, with a slight hint of dry butterscotch left in your cheeks.

In summary: Overall, a unique and gratifying white wine experience, rating three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a big plus for elegance and balance.

Following long decant, five hours in decanter at room temperature:   Settled aromas, with mineral lemon still coming through.   The palate has knitted together as well, still with the sweet buoyancy at the finish.  Even longer decant, one day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Aroma has held fast.  So have the flavor elements, solidifying together well enough to pull this up to a fourth star.  Very solid offering, great with decant, likely excellent with a couple more years in the bottle too.

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