Monday, April 11, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$$ DeLille Cellars Doyenne AIX Red Mountain Red Wine, Yakima Valley, Washington, 2009

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Initial review, by way of background: This is DeLille Cellars Doyenne AIX Red Mountain Red Wine, Yakima Valley, Washington, 2009, a primarily syrah and cabernet sauvignon-based blend from a range of vineyards, anchored by Ciel du Cheval and Grand Ciel.  It is designed as a Provence-style French blend, though from the state of Washington, finished at 14.8% alcohol.  Review sample provided by DeLille.

In the glass: Deep almost black magenta with a purple rim, opaque from about an eighth of an inch in from the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows bold, dark black cassis fruit - likely from the cabernet sauvignon -, undergirded with a sleek, savory menthol - likely from the syrah.  From the aroma, seems like this will be rich, bold and mouth-filling with ripe plum fruit.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a deeply rich attack on the palate, though  more old-world style than I anticipated.  Along with expected deep purple fruit, there is some bright woody underbrush holding up the ripe blackberry backbone.  Solid tannins and acids bring this into a bracing, clean finish of moderate length.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for rich potency.  Shows real potential for some substantial decanting or additional bottle age as well.

Following long decant, three hours at room temperature in decanter: Softer and deep aromatics.  Furry wood knits nicely with dark blackberry on the palate. Even longer decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Aromas have held steady, as has the solid palate. It keeps on knitting and integrating itself, without losing its characteristic brightness and charm.  The Doyenne AIX is in the "Rip Van Winkle" category of wines that can hold their character for exceedingly long periods under decant.
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