2013 DeLille "Four Flags" Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
(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)
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.