2013 DeLille "Four Flags" Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1260937 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Up there with the incredible 2012, yet in a more focused, tight, backwards style, the inky colored 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Four Flags comes from four separate vineyards (Klipsun, Grand Ciel, Ciel du Cheval and Upchurch) and exhibits classic Red Mountain characteristics of black fruit, smoked herbs, licorice, graphite and dusty minerality on the nose. Possessing serious intensity, full-bodied richness, ripe, yet present tannin and a fabulous finish, it needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years, and it will drink beautifully through 2038. This was another massive lineup of wines from the team at Delille, and as I think the scores show, I'm not complaining. The 2013s show the more elegant, streamlined style of the vintage nicely, while the 2014s offer a more unctuous, hedonistic style. These are both terrific vintages and ideally readers will have both in their cellar. The news here is the consolidation of the Doyenne releases under the Delille Cellars label. In the past, the estate kept their Rhone variety blends separate and released them under the Doyenne label, with no mention of Delille. Going forward, all of the wines will be released under the Delille label, with the Rhone inspired releases including Doyenne as part of the wine name. I think this is a good move and simplifies the labels. In addition, I'm working on a retrospective here to show the overall aging curve for a few of the cuvees. This will be published as a standalone article later this year.  (6/2016)

93 points Vinous

 (made with fruit from Grand Ciel, Ciel du Cheval, Upchurch and Klipsun vineyards; 70% new oak): Deep ruby-red. Aromas of cassis, licorice and crushed rock, plus a very ripe suggestion of plum brandy that winemaker Chris Upchurch says is from the Klipsun fruit. Wonderfully dense, fine-grained and broad, combining Latour-like saline, gravel and graphite notes with the vibrant blueberry and mineral aspect of Ciel du Cheval. Seriously structured, sharply focused, very pure wine with lovely floral lift and elegance. Finishes with sweet tannins and outstanding breadth. Most of the wines I tasted from DeLille this summer and in recent weeks were whites from ’15 and reds from ’13. The earlier vintage started off quite hot, noted Upchurch, but conditions cooled off nicely in September. Incidentally, although DeLille has expanded production of its white wines in recent years, mostly by getting more fruit from its top vineyard sources like Boushey, Klipsun and Sagemoor Bacchus, fully 80% of the winery’s production is red wine. Fans of this producer’s wines should note that the Doyenne name has disappeared as of the 2014 vintage, except for the wine previously labeled Aix, which henceforth will be called DeLille Cellars Doyenne. (ST)  (7/2016)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 A blend of Cabernet from Grand Ciel (31%), Ciel du Cheval (30%), Upchurch (28%) and Klipsun (11%) vineyards, wood spice aromas start out up front. The cherry flavors are light and elegant, with the tannins bringing some grip.  (5/2016)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.1