Abeja Chardonnay Washington State 2013 is 100 percent Chardonnay
This Chardonnay has the essence of a freshly baked lemon meringue pie, green apple, and Bartlett pear. It is both dense and bright, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon coming from its time in barrel. Aromas are so much related to experiences. It is a wine that is in the traditional Abeja style, with superb polish, complexity, and balance, yet with a light touch at 13.5 percent alcohol.
"Supple, ripe and complex, with layers of pear, floral, tangerine and a note reminiscent of freshly ironed clothing. Fine acidity carries this through to a refreshing finish. Drink now through 2020. 919 cases made. –HS"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th, 2015), 91 pts
"Abeja’s 2013 Chardonnay offers clean, crisp notes of apple blossom, white flowers, citrus and brioche. Fermented and aged in barrel (40% new), it has a solid mix of richness and freshness, is beautifully balanced, and will drink nicely for 2-3 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, June 2015), 91 pts
"A blend of top sites Celilo and Conner Lee, this appealing wine displays aromas of candy corn, corn silk and chamomile. The stone-fruit flavors are elegantly styled, showing a sense of restraint and balance that carries through the lingering finish."
- Wine Enthusiast (September 1st 2015), 91 pts
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
"The only other 2013 reviewed on this go around (most were reviewed last year), the 2013 Clos de Betz checks in as a blend of 63% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Petit Verdot, mostly from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley, that spent 19 months in French oak. Sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and an almost garrigue like perfume, this full-bodied beauty is already impossible to resist, yet will absolutely cruise for another 10-15 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 94 pts
The Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years.
Lakeview Vineyard is the winery’s mid-block vineyard planted to a combination of clone 6 & 337 Cabernet Sauvignon on 101-14 rootstock. Excellent drainage from the rocky and chalky soils plus plenty of sunlight throughout the day produces wines of bold character with mouth filling flavors.
Organic farming methods are used to produce this Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview vineyard. Vines are 17 years old. Ageing in French oak barrels (85% new) for 20 months, then 12 months in bottle prior to release. Non-filtered.
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #222, December 2015), 95 pts
"Darker tonalities of fruit along with distinctly savory undertones are two of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview Vineyard. Rich, ample and powerful, the Casey's Lakeview offers notable richness to fill out its broad-shouldered frame. Hints of lavender and mint add nuance in a virile Cabernet Sauvignon that needs at least a few years to fully come together. - Antonio Galloni"
- Vinous (October 2015), 94 pts
The Stone Corral Vineyard is planted on a southeast slope on the west side of the Edna Valley which has an east/west orientation opening up to the Pacific Ocean from Morro Bay and Pismo Beach. Approximately 120 to 300 feet above sea level, the climate is strongly influenced by the ocean providing ideal temperate growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Early spring warming, mild summer temperatures and late arriving cold fall temperatures and rain provide a long growing season for the development of rich color, concentrated and complex flavors. Soil profiles vary between blocks from sand, sandy loam, loamy sand, pebbly sandy clay loam, all fine angular blocky , including decomposing sandstone layers and numerous fossil rocks. The soils are well drained and marine in origin, resulting in an elegant Pinot Noir with extraordinary attributes.
This gem is a blend of a few precious, select barrels hailing from the finest blocks of Stone Corral Vineyard. Offers blue-toned fruit on the nose and a pretty bouquet of black raspberry, sandstone, marzipan and wild lupine flowers. Opulent, yet delicate on the palate, with velvety layers of cola nut, cherry, dried herbs and pecan sandie cookies.
Wine analysis – 13.7% Alcohol, .69 TA, 3.5pH
- A barrel select Stone Corral Vineyard bottling, utilizing the finest blocks and clones of the 2013 vintage
- Blend of clones 115, 777 and 667 on 101-14 and 3309 rootstalks
- Hand harvested, cold fruit from night picks during the month of September 2013
- Yield about 2 tons per acre between 23.8 and 24.5 ° Brix
- Destemmed with nearly 100 % whole berries remaining
- Fermented in small open top tanks
- 4 day cold soak, average 14 day fermentation, peak temperature 83°
- Hand punched down several times daily as needed
- Pressed off just dry, tank settled then racked to barrels
- Aged in small French oak barrels for 18 months
- Once the fresh wine is transferred from the press pan, all moving of the wine is done with inert gas pressure.
When handling the wine, care is taken at all opportunities to avoid shear.
"This bottling comes from the best blocks and barrels from this single vineyard, co-owned by a number of Edna Valley luminaries. The result is stunning, with baked raspberry, strawberry, maple, and peppery bacon aromas comprising a spicy, exotic nose. Black plum fruit melds with white pepper and crushed herbs, diving into tangy strawberry and sandalwood incense notes on the finish. - Matt Kettmann"
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (April 1st 2017), 95 pts
Laird Cabernet Sauvignon Flat Rock Ranch is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Our Flat Rock Ranch vineyard is located near the north corner of where Yountville Cross Road meets Silverado Trail, on State Lane. This prized, complex fruit from the Yountville Appellation is a result of unique geological and meteorological conditions: volcanic soils similar to the adjacent Stags Leap District, but also display ancient coastal deposits, and sedimentary and alluvial soils that provide beneficial stress for our vines. Marine air currents from San Pablo Bay to the south are caught when they reach the “Yountville Mounts,” providing a natural cooling effect that balances warm, sunny days that ripen the rich tannins of our hallmark Cabernet Sauvignon to elegant distinction.
Tasting Notes: Bold violet-red color introduces a captivating bouquet of blueberries, tea leaf, and vanilla. This full-bodied wine has flavors of cassis, hazelnut and briary undertones with fresh acidity and chewy tannins on the palate.
"A focused and poised young cabernet with blackberry, blueberry and cherry aromas and flavors. Full body, velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Shows depth and power. Better in 2019."
- James Suckling (December 2016), 93 pts
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Flat Rock Ranch, from another Yountville site, is softer than the Mast Ranch, with sweet tannin, dense purple color, plenty of crème de cassis, blackberry and blueberry. There is a nice floral element as well, and the wine finishes full, rich and impressive. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #222, December 2015), 94 pts
The 2013 Maison Roy et fils Incline expresses bright red fruits including strwberry and pomegranate. it also shows aromas of dried Italian herbs and baking spices. The palate echoes the aromatics with red fruits uplifted by taught acidity giving the wine good freshness and tension that will allow it to age nicely for 5-8+ years. Gentle decanting is beneficial if drinking between 2014 through 2017 as this encourages further aromatic intensity in the wines early years.
"Open-textured and finely wrought, this expressive red offers generous plum and currant fruit, shaded with hints of wet earth and spice as the finish lingers against fine tannins. Drink now through 2021. 850 cases made.- HS"
- Wine Spectator (February 2016), 92 pts
DeLille Doyenne Aix is made from 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
Demonstrating distinctive yet congruous notes of both Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, this vintage creates a wine of wall-to-wall seamless fruit. The generous Syrah nose of rich, juicy raspberries, black pepper and smoky, sanguine (i.e. red) meat combine nicely with the currants, cassis and Herbs de Provence of the Cabernet Sauvignon. There is immediacy to this wine that registers off the charts on the pleasure scale. Enjoy now and over the next five years.
Tasting like a rich, ripe red from Provence, the 2013 Doyenne Aix (60/40 Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon) offers up a fabulous bouquet of ripe black currants, melted licorice, roasted herbs and pepper in a full-bodied, concentrated, even unctuous, style on the palate. Despite all of the fruit and texture, this beauty has solid underlying structure and will drink well for another 10-15 years.
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. - 93 Point Wine Advocate
The DeLille Cellars Estate
Founded in 1992, DeLille Cellars is a small family owned winery located in Woodinville, Washington. Their goal is to make the very best handcrafted, old-world style red and white wine made in the State of Washington.
The DeLille Cellars Vineyard
The beautiful ten-acre site sits above the Woodinville valley floor, overlooking the wineries of Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery. All DeLille wines are elaborated with the highest “hand-crafted” standards. Only grapes from the oldest and best vineyards in Washington State are used. They are hand picked and hand sorted at crush, using only the finest berry clusters. The wines are aged in 100% new French oak barrels each and every year and are never filtered.
The DeLille Cellars Wines
In the words of David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate, December 2012:
"Winemaker-vineyard manager and self-styled "old world traditionalist" Chris Upchurch has been the guiding spirit of DeLille Cellars since its early-’90s inception, although the ostensibly Old World models followed have evolved significantly in both marketing and winemaking terms. Early-on, DeLille, unsurprisingly, – like so many other U.S. wineries – focused exclusively on a Bordelais vision. That said, Upchurch and his partners had been in business for nearly a decade before they purchased a vineyard: Grand Ciel, adjacent to Ciel du Cheval and Galitzine and managed by the accomplished and (seemingly in Red Mountain at least) ubiquitous Ryan Johnson. DeLille also vinifies and bottles separately the fruit of Harrison Hill’s antique vines (for more about which see my tasting note on the 2009 vintage) and a second estate vineyard project is afoot. The established if misleading name Chaleur Estate was retained for DeLille’s flagship wine crafted from contract fruit (second wine: D2); while the designation Doyenne – utilized from early-on for Syrah – morphed into an officially separate winery for experimental-minded exploration of themes inspired by Southern France. (For database purposes, we at The Wine Advocate / eRobertParker.com treat Doyenne as part of the relevant wines’ descriptions and a DeLille sub-label, which reflects the way those wines are marketed and the spirit in which they were presented to me. Comments on Upchurch’s vinificatory approaches can be found sprinkled though my tasting notes.)"
Dark and chocolate, spiced with pretty notes of allspice and clove, this wine is round and rich, bursting with ripe berries, combined with an earthy complexity and a velvety finish.
Made from 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc
The wine spent 22 months on 75% new French oak with the remaining 25% second vintage French oak. Select barrels from the best forests of Taransaud, Boutes, Quintessance, and Vicard cooperages.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Cabernet Franc (30%) and Merlot, this wine seems a little green out of the gate, with aromas of herbs, cocoa, vanilla, black licorice, woodspice and black fruit. The fruit flavors display the warmth of this region, with the tannins providing some heft, stretching out over time. - Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
Tamarack Cellars’ 2011 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Reserve is an outstanding blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Franc that spent 22 months (each variety is kept separate until 12 months after the harvest) in 50% new and 50% once-used French oak. Classically styled, with lots of smoke tobacco, licorice and blackcurrant aromas and flavors, it has everything in the right place, in the right proportions, and is incredibly enjoyable to drink. Enjoy this medium to full-bodied, moderately tannic, balanced beauty over the coming decade, although it will probably last longer. - Robert Parker Wine Advocate 91 Points