2004 DeLille "Grand Ciel" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1231481 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2004 Grand Ciel is the first vintage of this wine. It offers an equally expressive perfume with notes of spice box, tobacco, and leather. On the palate it is more forward than the 2005 with a bit more of an elegant personality. It should be in its prime from 2012 to 2025. DeLille Cellars and Doyenne are sister labels, the former for Bordeaux-style wines and the latter for Rhone-style wines. They will be reviewed separately. As a postscript, DeLille Cellars presented a vertical of the Chaleur Estate from 1996 to 2005. The wines are all evolving nicely with the exception of the 1997, the product of a cooler year, which needs drinking over the next few years. (JM)  (6/2008)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep ruby-red. Darker fruit aromas than the Chaleur Estate blend: black- and redcurrant, boysenberry, graphite, minerals and sweet oak. Then deep and penetrating on the palate, with uncanny intensity and structure for a wine from young vines. There's a sappy, juicy quality to the dark raspberry, milk chocolate, mineral and tobacco flavors, thanks to excellent acidity. Finishes with silky tannins and lingering notes of blueberry and wild herbs. This is amazing for the age of the vines and clearly a vineyard to follow. (A second bottle showed a considerably stronger oak component.) (Just the fourth leaf from a new planting next to Ciel du Cheval) (ST)  (12/2007)

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Price: $89.99

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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.

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.


- 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.