Friday, April 15, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **** $$$ DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc, Yakima Valley, Washington, 2009

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By way of background: I have enjoyed a number of the DeLille Cellars offerings.  Chaleur Estate is its premium estate labeling, coming from selected lots on vineyards in Yakima Valley, Washington.  Most of DeLille's offerings are red wines and red blends.  Here we have an unusual white blend offering in a Bordeaux blanc styling of sauvignon blanc and semillon.

Initial review : This is DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc, Yakima Valley, Washington, 2009, finished at 14.1% alcohol.  It is a blend of 2/3 sauvignon blanc from three estate vineyards, and 1/3 semillon from the Boushey Vineyard.  Review sample provided by DeLille Cellars. 

In the glass: Light yellow with gentle gold overtones.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows fluffy hay and gleaming hints of citrus.  An interesting, pleasant deep funk coming through too.  From the aroma, seems like this will be rich, dry, perhaps with dry butterscotch tone or mouthfeel.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact quite luscious and round on the mid-palate, bringing both substantial apparent sweetness and a briskness that moves things to a place entirely different than sweet.  Now that's balance!  The overall feeling is one of minerality, fully robed in pear fruit and citrus freshness.  The dry butterscotch I expected ends up in my cheeks, lingering for awhile - a pleasant finish that falls away slowly, full of flavor and yet entirely clean.

In summary: Overall, rates a powerful four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, offering outstanding balance in such a big white.

Following long decant, four hours at room temperature:  Surprisingly, the aroma is both brighter, and deeper with butterscotch.  It has lost the clean hay elements, however.   The palate moves to the brighter side of the palate as well, having lost a bit of the minerality.  Finish builds with some acidity into your cheeks. Following an even longer decant, a further day kept cool: Now the aromas show some pleasant citrus too.  The palate, meanwhile, has moved to a richer, sleeker feel.  Very interesting and pleasant permutations as Chaleur Estate Blanc moves through time and air.

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