DeLille Cellars 2005 Grand Ciel cabernet sauvignon

Another early WAwineman classic, 1st posted on September 21, 2008:

The price of this bottle is expected from cult wineries like Quilceda Creek or even Leonetti, but DeLille? Well, in the fine print, let’s mention that there are more than a handful of wineries that offer vintages in the triple digits, most notably CSM’s Single Berry Select…and that bottle’s only a tenth. Then again, I surmise that just about every big-name Napa Valley winery has at least a triple-digit bottle in their lineup and some are just a name…think the first couple vintages of Marilyn Merlot. The reality is, having WA wineries offer such wines reflects the maturing of the industry as shown by the Cali folks. Quilceda Creek appears to have taken the next step in cult status, where collectors around the world will pay uber-ridiculous prices; thus pricing out their availability even to the locals who long have supported them. This left a vacancy that DeLille appears to have taken over.

Mind you, this is no fluke as DeLille has a long established track record of superb consistency in their portfolio. Ultimately, it’s the reputation of the oenologist and the winery that allows such a risk in pricing to exist. Supply and demand, yes that’s the backbone of any pricing structure. However, DeLille has assumed a heavy investment in scarce acreage on Red Mountain and is slowly recouping that expenditure through this very limited release. They’re not making Gallo-type wines here.

Nose: a bloom of black fruits. Color: non-anemic blood red. Mouthfeel: dense with a presence of, how dare I say it, pain grille. Tail trail: 10+ seconds. Flavors: concise release of ripe black plum, cassis, blackberries, evolving slowly to grandma’s spice cabinet, toast, leather, and forest canopy.

Alcohol: 14.9%. Red Mountain AVA. Grand Ciel Vineyard. Single vineyard of 3 French clones. Rated: 97. Value: $140. Paid: $125. This is WAwineman on the road…still uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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