Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **** $$$ DeLille Cellars D2 (Red Blend), Yakima Valley, Washington, 2008

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By way of background: I've enjoyed a number of the other DeLille Cellars wines, and this Bordeaux-inspired blend, though young, looks like an interesting prospect.  D2 represents the notion of a "deuxieme", or second wine, as regularly occurs at French chateaus.  The D2 lots are lots that are either not needed, or fail to make the grade, for the premium, significantly higher-priced DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Red.


Initial review : This is DeLille Cellars D2, Yakima Valley, Washington, 2008, a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot, collected from no less than 15 estate vineyards plots at DeLille.  The lots are aged for 20 months in new French oak barrels, and the finished wine comes in at a bold 14.7% alcohol.   Review sample provided by DeLille.

In the glass: D2 shows as deep magenta, opaque from about 3/4 inch in from the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows seductive, classic and bold black cassis nose evoking the cabernet sauvignon.  Sage brush, menthol and cocoa fold in around the edges.  From the aroma, seems like this will be big, bold and balanced with a cabernet orientation.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact chewy cabernet on the mid-palate, supported by some lively acids and tannins that seem to bring more minerality than grit to the equation.  Deep blackberry fruit creates the initial notes, as the tannins bring more layers and length to the experience, adding almost a light fur coating to the experience.  The finish is quite long and cleanly fading, ending in just a clean whisper. 

In summary: Overall, powerful classic red blend that just touches four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, as I would not only return to this (three stars), but stick with it as a sole red wine choice for the evening (four stars).

Following long decant, five hours in decanter at room temperature:   Same elements in the nose, though now sweeter and more subtle.  On the palate, it is interesting to note that the tannins come on as rougher now, creating the initial impression.  The fruit plays a supporting role.  This will be fun to watch in the bottle over a few years.  However, if drinking DeLille D2 in its youth, I would recommend enjoying with just the briefest of decants. Following an even longer decant, a full additional day kept cool:  Even fresher now on the bold nose of blackcurrant. The fruit glides back into front place on the palate.  Actually fruity now, and holding up well. 

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