2018 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc

Year: 2018
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Country: USA-Wahington
Wine Advocate: 92+
Vinous Media: 93
Jeb Dunnuck: 93
Wine Enthusiast: 93
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.8%
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"The 2018 Chaleur Blanc is a blend of 71% Sauvignon Blanc and 29% Sémillon. It opens with a clean, structured nose of fresh citrus, soft oak, velvety white flowers and citrus blossoms. The palate is medium to full-bodied, smooth and creamy textured, almost like lemon panna cotta, finishing clean, focused and balanced. 5,050 cases were produced." (WA)

"Gold-tinged yellow. Wonderfully complex nose melds musky peach, nectarine, nuts, shiso leaf, sage and sexy leesy nuances. Broad, bone-dry and penetrating, but at the same time laid-back in the way of a young Domaine de Chevalier Blanc. Wonderfully energetic and savory, with a fresh apricot flavor accented by a lemony topnote. Finishes with terrific length and lift. After an hour of aeration, this utterly seamless wine took on an almost meaty muskiness without any loss of vibrancy. (60% new oak; at least 50% native yeast fermentation, including all of the Boushey Vineyard Semillon)" (VM)

"One of the top Bordeaux white blends from the New World, the 2018 Chaleur Estate Blanc is based on 71% Sauvignon and 29% Semillon brought up in barrel. It has a beautiful bouquet of ripe pineapple, peach, white flowers, and hints of sugared lemon. With good acidity, medium-bodied richness, and terrific balance, it can be enjoyed any time over the coming decade or more.

What I would consider a Washington State First Growth, Delille Cellars produces both incredible quality as well as quantity, pulling from vineyards throughout the state of Washington. This is always one of my favorite tastings in Washington, and given that they pull from sites throughout the state, it’s a great way to learn about a given vintage. The winemaking team has been headed up by Jason Gorski for a number of years now and they continue to fashion a classic, balanced style of wine that has plenty of fruit as well as balanced, age-worthy profiles. They excel with both their Bordeaux varieties and their Rhones. Looking at the 2017s reviewed here, these show the more elegant, streamlined style of the vintage nicely and have plenty of site-specific characters. I think these check in behind the 2016s, but they are certainly terrific wines. The 2018, most of which were tasted from barrel, also have plenty of elegance and purity, and I think will be in the same ballpark, if not a step up over the 2017s. Either way, these are terrific wines across the board, and you can’t go wrong here. In addition to the reds, which get all the attention, don’t miss the whites from this estate. They’re unquestionably up with the best of the state." (JD)

"Sauvignon Blanc makes up most of this blend at 71%, with the rest Sémillon. Aromas of gooseberry, herb, the underside of a pineapple, miso and toast are followed by full-bodied, intense, richly textured kiwi, pineapple and herb flavors that show great depth. A hyperextended finish follows. It's the best example of this style in the state. Best after 2022. -Sean P. Sullivan" (WE)

Winery Notes:
This 2018 Chaleur Blanc shows magnificent balance throughout, with aromas of baked pie crust, grapefruit and citrus oil. On the palate, this symmetry continues, with the fruit contributing grapefruit, golden hay, thyme and tarragon, with cooperage supplying well integrated eucalyptus, forest floor and mocha. Six months of elevage on the lees with weekly battonage contributes a welcome roundness that harmonizes with the brilliant acidity of this wine, all carried on a long, dry finish.