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Critic Jeb Dunnuck Reviews Washington State Wines

In his recent report on Washington State wines, wine critic Jeb Dunnick praises DeLille Cellars’ Bordeaux-style and Rhone-style blends sourced from the Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Snipes Mountain and Columbia Valley AVAs.

“DeLille can always be counted on to deliver classic, impeccably made wines, and they have done exceptionally well in 2018. They also pull from multiple regions, so it’s such a great education tasting through these wines when trying to understand a vintage. Their Red Mountain releases seem to be the stars of the show in 2018, but there are no dogs in this lineup. The icing on the cake is that they’re generally made in decent quantities, especially their D2 release, which is a year-in, year-out terrific Bordeaux blend.” – Jeb Dunnuck

2019 Chaleur Blanc

2019 Chaluer Blanc: 94 points

Columbia Valley AVA

“One of the best Bordeaux Blanc blends coming out of Washington, the 2019 Chaleur Blanc checks in as 69% Sauvignon Blanc and 31% Semillon that was barrel fermented and aged in 60% new oak. Honeyed grapefruit, white flowers, sappy, green herbs, and a kiss of minerality all define the bouquet, and this beauty is medium-bodied, with a beautifully balanced, concentrated mouthfeel and a great finish. It ranks with the top examples of this cuvée I’ve tasted.”

2019 Roussanne - Red Mountain AVA

2019 Roussanne: 91 points

Red Mountain AVA

“This estate made a handful of terrific whites. Their 2019 Roussanne (100% Roussanne) reveals a light gold hue to go with pretty stone fruits, melon, and lemon curd-like aromas and flavors. It’s medium-bodied on the palate, with a bright, nicely textured mouthfeel and a classic, dry finish that has some toasty, nutty nuances. This bottle had some trapped CO2, so don’t be afraid to give bottles a decant if drinking any time soon. It’s going to have a decade of longevity.”


2018 Red Mountain Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon: 96+ points

Red Mountain AVA

“All Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (78% new French oak), the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Four Flags showed brilliantly, offering a Pauillac-like nose of smoky red and blue fruits, lead pencil, and tobacco. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced, and concentrated, it has lots of velvety tannins, a stacked mid-palate, and a great finish. It ranks with the top Cabernets from the appellation and is a stunning wine. Drink bottles over the coming 20-25 years.”


2018 Lot 3 Cabernet Sauvignon: 93+ Points

Red Mountain AVA

“Coming all from the Klipsun Vineyard on Red Mountain and brought up in 100% new French oak, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 3 boasts a dense purple hue as well as red and black plum fruits intermixed with singed cedar, toast, chocolate, and lead pencil-like aromas and flavors. With medium to full body, a round, nicely textured mouthfeel, and classic Red Mountain savoriness and minerality, it will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for 15 years or more.”


2018 Shaw Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain AVA

2018 Shaw Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon: 96 points

Red Mountain AVA

“Another 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Mountain, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Shaw Vineyard reveals a deep purple hue to go with a smoky, meaty, herbal style carrying beautiful black and blue fruits, medium to full body, ripe, building tannins, and a great finish. More chocolate and earthy notes emerge with time in the glass. This deep, layered, impressive Cabernet Sauvignon has some up-front appeal today yet will benefit from just short-term cellaring and keep for 20 years or more.”

2018 Chaleur Estate Red Mountain, Washington State

2018 Chaleur Estate: 94+ points

Red Mountain AVA

“One of the flagships from this reference point estate, the 2018 Chaleur Estate checks in as 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot. Solid notes of red and black currants, tobacco, dried flowers, and lead pencil define the bouquet, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with a concentrated, balanced texture, building yet ripe tannins, and a great finish. As with all of these 2018s, it’s not a blockbuster, but it has a wonderful complexity as well as elegance.”

2018 D2 Red Mountain AVA

2018 D2: 91 points

Columbia Valley AVA

“Named after the famed D2 road that runs from Bordeaux up through the Médoc, the 2018 D2 checks in as 67% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It has a classy, medium-bodied style offering fine, elegant tannins, a balanced, charming texture, and classic notes of currants, violets, lead pencil, and tobacco. Reminding me of a top Cru Bourgeois, it should keep for a decade.”

2018 Doyenne Columbia Valley

2018 Doyenne: 93 points

Columbia Valley AVA

“A blend of 61% Syrah and 39% Cabernet Sauvignon (this is the estate’s take on a Provence Red), the 2018 Doyenne has beautiful blackberry and blueberry fruits as well as medium to full-bodied richness, a plush, layered, expansive texture, ripe tannins, and classy spicy, peppery aromas and flavors. It’s another beauty from this team to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years.”

2018 Snipes Mountain AVA Harrison Hill

2018 Harrison Hill: 95 points

Snipes Mountain AVA

“The 2018 Harrison Hill is a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc all from Snipes Mountain, located west of Red Mountain. Brought up in 100% new French oak, it’s never the deepest colored Cabernet out there, but it has an almost opaque hue as well as beautiful red and black currant fruits intermixed with lots of floral, cedar, and leafy herb nuances. I always love the elegance and complexity of this cuvée, and the 2018 has those qualities in spades. More medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and lengthy, it will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for 20 years or more.”

2018 Yakima Valley Le Colosse

2018 Le Colosse: 94 points

Yakima Valley AVA

“The Merlot-heavy 2018 Le Colosse is 88% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, aged 20 months in 78% new French oak. Saint-Emilion-like notes of black cherries, currants, lead pencil, leafy herbs, and damp earth give way to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully polished, elegant wine with loads to love. It should keep for 10-12 years, easily.”

2018 Yakima Valley Minuit

2018 Minuit: 94 points

Yakima Valley AVA

“The 2018 Minuit comes from the Yakima Valley and is 70% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in 50% new French oak. This inky-hued effort has a great nose of ripe black and blue fruits as well as liquid violets, charred earth, and graphite. Beautifully textured and full-bodied, with an expansive yet still elegant, seamless texture, this stunning Malbec is up with the finest expressions of the grape from Washington.

2018 Yakima Valley Red Willow Blend

2018 Red Willow Blend: 95 points

Yakima Valley AVA

“A Cabernet Franc-dominated wine, the 2018 Red Willow Blend checks in as 57% Cabernet Franc, 26% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, all brought up in 36% new French oak. It’s another gorgeous 2018 from this team revealing incredible purity and elegance as well as richness. Blue fruits, forest floor, flowers, and graphite are just some of the nuances and it’s medium to full-bodied, with a seamless, elegant texture and a slightly bloody, salty character on the finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. It’s an awesome Cabernet Franc.”

2018 Yakima Valley Signature Syrah

2018 Signature Syrah: 93 points

Yakima Valley AVA

“Including 2% Viognier, the 2018 Syrah Signature offers a vivid purple hue to go with rock star notes of cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with smoked earth, graphite, peppered game, and background oak. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully balanced, it has enough background oak (and a kiss of char) to warrant 2-3 years of bottle age, and it should easily keep for a decade. I love its purity of this classic Syrah.”

2017 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain

2017 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon: 96+ points

Red Mountain AVA

“The top Cabernet from Red Mountain, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Ciel comes from the Grand Ciel Vineyard and spent 20 months in new French oak. Blue fruits, graphite, leafy tobacco, lead pencil, and a kiss of meaty, iron-like notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced Cabernet with ultra-fine yet building tannins, a round, layered mouthfeel, plenty of mid-palate depth, and a great finish. This classic, flawlessly balanced Red Mountain Cabernet will benefit from 2-4 years (or more) of bottle age and keep for three decades. It’s one of those wines that builds with time in the glass.”

2017 Red Mountain Grand Ciel Syrah

2017 Grand Ciel Syrah: 96+ points

Red Mountain AVA

“All Syrah from Red Mountain, brought up in 15% new French oak, the 2017 Syrah Grand Ciel Vineyard sports an inky purple hue to go with ripe, powerful notes of black and blue fruits, ground pepper, violets, and smoked game. Gorgeous on the palate, with a Hermitage-like class in its tannins, it’s flawlessly balanced, has a pure, precise texture, and a great finish. It’s a head-turning good Syrah to enjoy over the coming 10-15 years.”

Shop Bordeaux-Style Washington Wine

DeLille Cellars is a boutique artisan winery that has been producing Red Mountain wines since 2000. The winery is known for pioneering Bordeaux-style blends from Washington State and has maintained a tradition of quality and excellence with over 200 wines rated 90+ from leading publications. Visit our Woodinville winery or shop Washington wine online.

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