“Winemaking is a lifelong endeavor.” This truthful and passionate statement was made by professional winemaker and owner of DeLILLE Cellars Chris Upchurch. He has devoted the majority of his life to the art of growing premium grapes and making exceptional wine. DeLILLE Cellars is located in Redmond, Washington, a state which has been producing fine wines and experiencing well-deserved increasing popularity as a result. In contrast with many winery websites, DeLILLE Cellars does not provide a lengthy history or focus on a vast list of achievements, rather their sight is set on future wine vintages; perfecting grape growing and wine production.
Despite DeLILLE Cellars’ modesty, it is clear from the information available and numerous positive reviews, that they are making desirable wines. DeLILLE’s wines are served in over 100 restaurants in the Seattle area and state of Washington. Additionally,Seattle Magazine has included positive mention, the most recent being “Wine of the Year” for DeLILLE Cellars’ 2006 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon. One wine consumer who recently visited DeLILLE Cellars wrote, “We visited 7 wineries in one day and by far this was the best. The quality of the wine, the knowledge of the Washington varietals was excellent.” One reputable review site listed DeLILLE Cellars at an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5.
The Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon was first produced by DeLILLE Cellars in 2004 with tremendously successful results. That year International Wine Cellar rated this wine at 91 points. Wine Enthusiast and Wine Advocate concurred with 93 and 94 points, respectively. Since 2004, the Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon has been on an unchallenged winning streak. In 2005, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate rated the 100% Cabernet Sauvignon vintage at 95 points. Moreover, the prestige continued with the gold medal at Seattle Wine Awards. The years 2006 and 2007 were also marked by the Grand Ciel receiving high ratings from many wine experts.This wine can be purchased for around $108 to $165 a bottle depending on the vintage. Visitors to the winery also agree with the exceptional nature of the Grand Ciel. The sentiment was enumerated by one reviewer who enthusiastically stated, “Brilliant wines!”
Doyenne Signature Syrah
The Doyenne Signature Syrah is another of DeLILLE Cellars’ award winning wines. At an affordable $20 to $39 per bottle, this wine has unanimously pleased Syrah lovers. One wine taster said he was a, “Big fan of the Syrah!!!” Another reviewer elaborated saying the, “Syrahs were so silky and flavorful.” She continued by stating they, “had so much character without being too fruity.” Wine Spectator gave the Doyenne Signature Syrah 94 points adding that this wine was, “Focused, intense and detailed…” Wine Enthusiast rated Doyenne Signature Syrah at 93 points confirming it is, “A wine to savor.” Since its tenure starting in 1999, the Doyenne Signature Syrah has never earned less than a 90 point rating from wine tasting professionals. But you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy its plum fruitiness and espresso tones or choice savory herbs and earthy notes.
Chaleur Estate Blanc
If you enjoy white wines, you may relish the toasted almond and cardamom flavors of the Chaleur Estate Blanc. DeLILLE Cellars created, yet again, another superb white wine blend. Both critics and wine tasters confirm the quality of this wine through their written admiration. A wine taster recently wrote, “Their Chaleur Estate Blanc was possibly the best white I’ve ever tasted.” Yet another reviewer listed the Chaleur Estate Blanc among their favorite wines. Wine Spectator describes the wine as “rich in texture and spicy in flavor.” adding a rating of 88 points. That review was of the 1999 Chaleur Estate Blanc and the acclaim has only increased with subsequent years. More recently, the wine was rated at 92 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and 95 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine which remarked that the Chaleur Estate Blanc is “consistent year after year.” The Chaleur Estate Blanc is also one of DeLILLE Cellars’ more economical wines pricing at around $19 to $30 per bottle based on the year of production.
DeLILLE offers many ways to relate to their winemaking efforts other than simply enjoying their delicious varietals. They endeavor to work with the environment and take the time to explain their goals. Their interest in green farming, sustainable vineyards, bio-dynamic methods, and organic produce is discussed on their site. In addition, DeLILLE Cellars is aligning themselves with non-profit organizations who are dedicated to environmentally friendly practices. On their informative website, DeLILLE has the Story of the Grape, which gives an interesting timeline and description of the grape growing process. When you read about the amount of time and effort that is put forth to produce such premium wines, your appreciation peaks.
Another way to experience DeLILLE Cellars is through the Carriage House Tasting Room. Quaint and inviting, the staff will assist with varietal knowledge and food pairings. DeLILLE Cellars also offers reserve tasting and private tastings at the Carriage House Tasting Room for $50 or $35 per person. Wine tasters note that the tasting room is, “Beautiful, a must see.” Another person explained, “Tasting fee starts at $15 per person and is refundable with the purchase of their wine. We had owners talking to us and their wine and service were both super.” To further support the winery, you can join either the Grand Estate Wine Club for approximately $140 quarterly or the Grand Cellar Red Wine Case Club for around $550-$650 twice a year. Whatever method of enjoyment you choose, it would be wise to experience DeLILLE Cellars and their award-winning wines.
14208 Woodinville-Redmond Road N.E., Redmond, WA 98052
Tasting room: (425) 877-9472
Guest Post By Sarah Meadows
Images Courtesy of WineMatch.Com