DeLille Cellars Wedding | Mark & Rick
A family-run winery. We've perfected the balance between employing modern techniques to achieve greater quality while maintaining a scrupulous respect for tradition - particularly traditional winemaking techniques to ensure that the grapes are properly handled, improving the flavor and texture of the final product.
Maison DeLille Wine Lounge
15 Lake Street, Kirkland, 98033, WA
Carriage House Tasting Room
14421 Woodinville-Redmond Rd NE, Woodinville 98072
- Nominated for American Winery of the year.
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“There is synergy that happens at the table – food, wine and camaraderie all unite through a magical alchemy. As a winemaker, I’m humbled that I have the privilege to be a catalyst contributing to the experience of memorable meals.” - Jason Gorski, DeLille Cellars
Winemaking is not entirely about the winemaker. Ultimately, it’s about the people enjoying each bottle; through their appreciation of our wines, we are challenged each year to achieve quality and elegance that build upon the excellence of earlier vintages.
Keeping that in mind, I am in love with making wine, not with being a winemaker. Driven by the creative process, especially during harvest, DeLille Cellars gives me the chance to test everything I embody in winemaking and I don’t hesitate to put it all into every vintage -- mentally, emotionally and physically. My goal is to craft wines that people will love while still being true to the specific characteristics of each vineyard. When I stand in our vineyards, I discover their individual identity and realize that I’m a ‘steward of the vines’ with the job of preserving the integrity of the fruit in our portfolio. This land existed long before I was born and will thrive well after I’m gone. So for now, I have the honor of being the keeper of the lineage of Red Mountain, one of the finest growing regions in Washington State.
I’ve enjoyed life more because of wine and want to share this with others. One of my favorite quotes, “It’s great to have the lab results and the chemistry, but put the analysis in the drawer and go taste in the vineyard and the cellar.” Seeking that balance between science and intuition keeps life interesting for me. In keeping with my dual degrees in religion and biology, I’m out to prove that they can coexist.
I was fortunate to realize at a very young age that wine was my passion. During my education at Duke University, my academic advisor/mentor introduced me to a respected sommelier. That conversation became a pivotal moment when he told me to jump in headfirst. His words, “Life may get in the way, so don’t wait – just leap,” is what had guided me toward many professional and personal life choices. In hindsight, it was that encounter that influenced my career path and brought me to where I am today. Not long after graduation, I came to Washington State in 2004 to continue my winemaking journey and joined DeLille Cellars’ winemaking team in 2011. Other life pursuits include cycling throughout the Pacific NW, sharing my love of food by cooking for friends and family and spending time with my wife, Veronica. As fate would have it, I have DeLille Cellars to thank for more than the opportunity to make great wine. I met Veronica, the love of my life, at the winery. So after more than a decade of following my dream, I’ve come to realize that all roads to happiness stem from the pursuit of great wine and I consider myself very lucky.
At DeLille, we believe that Washington State is a Grand Cru wine growing region, created 10,000 years ago. The challenge for us has always been and remains: to create special wines from the uniquely expressive terroir that Mother Nature gave us a long time ago,” states DeLille Cellars’ acclaimed winemaker Chris Upchurch. “We know that this challenge of discovery is never ending, and is becoming tradition here at DeLille Cellars.”
Chris’ love for wine started in his youth, with extensive travel throughout the Grand Cru wine-growing regions of Europe and the west coast of the US. "I had to start off developing my palate and my perspective. How can you make great wine if you don’t know what that is?" he reflected.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington, Chris began his career as a wine merchant, working with several of Seattle’s best-known restaurants. This experience allowed him to hone his palate while tasting wines from around the world. Deep in his heart, Chris knew he wanted to express his passion in the production end of the wine industry.
Armed with his love of wine and commitment to learning its craft, Chris initially developed a successful grape-brokerage business contracting grapes from Washington State and selling them to winemakers. Chris uncovered his true calling once he started spending endless hours in the vineyards. That love of the land, the vine and its fruit, fostered Chris’ passion of winemaking and his passion for charting a course in Washington State.
An acclaimed professional winemaker for over twenty years, Chris still spends much of his time in the vineyards of Washington State, primarily Yakima Valley and Red Mountain AVA’s. Reflecting on the great European winemaking tradition, he remarks “The truly long-lived wines are made in the vineyards. I expect to be here for many years to come.”
Assistant Winemaker - Nick Bernstein
My curiosity for wine first blossomed while working at various restaurants and growing up cooking with family and friends. I broadened my exploration of wine from the vineyard’s perspective, graduating from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Biology focusing on ecology and botany. After learning the theoretical side of agricultural systems, I set out to apply my academics and learn firsthand what the grape harvest was all about. I got my start in Walla Walla experiencing the excitement, hard work and rewards of the 2010 vintage. I knew I was hooked and didn’t look back. Over the next several years, I continued the harvest streak in Marlborough, New Zealand followed by Sonoma and back to the States to Santa Barbara. In 2012, I came to DeLille to broaden my understanding of what it takes to produce world-class wine.
Thanks to my love of travel, I’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to many winemaking styles and inspiring philosophies each with its unique sense of place in the world. I’ve had the privilege to work with countless people who effortlessly enjoy life while making a living from their passion. Their ability to take life as it comes helped me realize that each of us only has so many opportunities to refine his or her talent and skills since no two vintages are alike. I constantly use the infinite amount of learning associated with winemaking to improve my craft. I feel fortunate to have found a career that I love and look forward to many years of creating memorable wines.
When I’m not in the cellar at DeLille, I can be found enjoying the beautiful places the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I am an avid cook, surfer and snowboarder always ready for the next adventure.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
The vineyard, planted in 1962, has the second oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Washington State. In 2009, Harrison Hill became part of the Snipes Mountain AVA (lying within the boundaries of the Yakima Valley AVA), Washington State’s 10th official viticultural area. Snipes Mountain AVA is distinctive with an elevated topography and unique soils not found elsewhere in the Yakima Valley AVA. Snipes Mountain is the second smallest AVA in Washington, bigger only than Red Mountain.
Owner Steve Newhouse makes certain the yields are of the lowest in the state. The resulting wines are complex, expressive and exhibit "Somewhereness". This, coupled with its elegant black cherry signature, compels us to bottle it as a single-vineyard wine. Five acres of cabernet, merlot and cabernet franc are grown here.
Grand Ciel Vineyard
DeLille Cellars long-term goals have always been to create our own vineyard, so that we have the proper control of the fruit we use to make our wine. Ultimately, this control is vital to making fine wine. We also believe that it is imperative to wait for the finest vineyard site opportunities.
Grand Ciel in the Red Mountain AVA is DeLille Cellars' first owned vineyard. In partnership with Jim Holmes of Ciel du Cheval Vineyard (see below), we developed this site as a "state-of-the-art", no expense spared vineyard. Grand Ciel Vineyard was designed to produce great vintages with the best of both worlds - namely concentration and hang-time complexity. With the French grape clones we chose; along with high density planting and traditional Guyot-trellising, this vineyard slows everything down. Our first harvest from Grand Ciel Vineyard was the 2004 vintage.
This vineyard is perhaps the most respected in the state. Wine & Spirits Magazine has named Klipsun Vineyard one of the Top 25 vineyards in the world. On your first visit to Klipsun Vineyard, you can see that this is one of the best -maintained vineyards - a tribute to David and Patricia Gelles and their vineyard manager, Julia Kock. Klipsun cabernet and merlot are famous for their superior ripeness and jammy plum nuances. They also produce some of the most ripe and powerful sauvignon blanc in Washington. (klipsunvineyard.com)
Dick Boushey's vineyard is near Sunnyside. It is a cooler site and therefore perfect for merlot, which often ripens too quickly at other sites. Because Dick combines his cool site with lower yields and a stingy use of water, his merlot harvests well into October. This long hang-time gives the wines great expression and depth. Dick Boushey is also producing some of the best syrah in the state as well, which is an important part of our Doyenne.
Ciel Du Cheval Vineyard
Jim Holmes is the owner of this great Red Mountain vineyard. Here, over 20 year-old vines of cabernet sauvignon and merlot produce wines with the best grip and structure anywhere. This vineyard has always been a major part of the Chaleur Estate. The added bonus is that Jim's vineyard is also a Grand Cru vineyard for Syrah. It is the dominant force for our Doyenne.
Sagemoor Farm Vineyard
Sagemoor historically has played a lead role in the Washington State wine industry. Todd Cameron, vineyard manager, now carries on that tradition. Simply stated, Sagemoor provides us with the oldest and some of the finest sauvignon blanc vines. The wines from here tend to have a nice combination of power and crisp, natural acidity.
Red Willow Vineyard
Red Willow vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in the state with Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted in 1973 that are still in production today. Red Willow is the results of 4 generations of farming dating back to the 1920's growing potatoes alfalfa and hay. In 1971 Mike Sauer enlisted renowned WSU viticulturist Dr. Walter Clore to start planting wine grape on the slopes where his other crops wouldn’t grow. Here the elevation is at 1,300 ft. which places it above the Missoula Floods and escapes the deep soils that it created. Here the soils are poorer ancient soils which as Mike discovered, is perfect for wine grapes.
Owned by our celebrated Winemaker Chris Upchurch. Upchurch Vineyard is the newest vineyard source for DeLille Cellars.
From the beginning, Upchurch Vineyard has been dedicated to sustainable farming. Certified by L.I.V.E. (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) a non-profit organization that promotes and certifies sustainable vineyard practices.
Stillwater Creek Vineyard
Stillwater Creek is a family owned vineyard on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills in Washington State. The Thomas Alberg family has combined the talents of two of the most experienced people in our industry with winemaker Mike Januik and vineyard manager Jerry Bookwalter.
The vineyard is distinguished by its unique soil composition, a combination of sandy to silty loam mixed with large amounts of fractured basalt. The vineyards are south facing and are planted on some of the steepest slopes in Washington- up to 22 % grade in many parts of the vineyard.
Click here to download the latest Robert Parker scores
Grand Ciel 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon 95
Delille Cellars 2011 Upchurch Cabernet Sauvignon 95+
Delille Cellars 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Four Flags 94
Delille Cellars 2012 Malbec 90
Doyenne 2012 Rose 90
Delille Cellars 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Upchurch Vineyard 95
Delille Cellars 2012 Chaleur Estate Blanc 92
Doyenne 2013 Roussanne 90
Grand Ciel 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon 95
Delille Cellars 2011 D2 93
Doyenne 2011 Metier 91
Grand Ciel 2011 Syrah 94
Grand Ciel 2012 Syrah 93
Delille Cellars 2011 Harrison Hill 94
Delille Cellars 2012 Harrison Hill 94
Doyenne 2011 AIX 92
Doyenne 2012 AIX 91
Delille Cellars 2011 Chaleur Estate 94
Delille Cellars 2012 Chaleur Estate 93
Doyenne 2011 Syrah Signature 93
Doyenne 2012 Syrah Signature 91
2014 The Seattle Wine Awards
Red Bordeaux style $35.01 & over:
Double Gold DeLille Cellars 2011 Chaleur Estate Rouge
Gold DeLille Cellars 2011 D2
Cabernet Sauvignon $35.01& over:
Double Gold DeLille Cellars 2011 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon
Double Gold DeLille Cellars 2010 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon
Red Proprietary Blend $35.01 & over:
Double Gold Doyenne 2011 AIX
Sauvignon Blanc and White Bordeaux style All Pricing:
Double Gold DeLille Cellars 2012 Chaleur Estate Blanc
The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, Jr. Issue 207, June 27, 2013
95+ points – DeLille Cellars 2010 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
“…powerful & concentrated; brilliantly rich aromas & flavors of smoked game, black currant, graphite, tobacco & crushed stone-like minerality.”
95 points – DeLille Cellars 2009 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
“…decadently styled, gamey aromas & flavors; full-bodied power & richness on the palate that never comes across as heavy.”
93-95 points – DeLille Cellars 2011 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain (tasted in barrel)
“Structured with plenty of spice box, cedar & tobacco leaf on the nose….full-bodied richness, serious tannin levels & brilliant purity of fruit.”
93-95 points – DeLille Cellars 2011 Chaleur Estate, Red Mountain (tasted in barrel)
“Medium to full-bodied profile with ripe tannin…clean, classically constructed feel. Already complex with another 15+ years of evolution.”
91-93 points – Doyenne 2011 AIX, Red Mountain (tasted in barrel)
“Pretty & elegant with a brambly core. Outstanding blend showing plushness of Syrah & classic focused feel of Cabernet Sauvignon.”
90-92 points – DeLille Cellars 2011 D2, Columbia Valley (tasted in barrel)
“…full & rich with an easygoing, textured mouthfeel; quality aromas of wild herbs, graphite, minerals & assorted dark fruits; an outstanding drink.”
92 points –DeLille Cellars 2010 D2, Columbia Valley
“…classic aromas & flavors black currants, wild herbs, Asian spice….with a fleshy, full-bodied texture. Rich, voluptuous & well-constructed.”
92 points – DeLille Cellars 2011 Chaleur Estate Blanc, Columbia Valley
“Gorgeously rich & mineral-laced nose, it flows onto the palate…lively acidity & rock-solid length on the finish. Classy all around.”
92-95 points – Doyenne 2011 Signature Syrah, Red Mountain (tasted in barrel)
“Perfumed & complex; pure Syrah fruit with pepper & violets on the nose. Gives way to full-bodied, seamless Syrah…downright gorgeous.”
Issue 204, December 27, 2012
92 points – DeLille Cellars 2010 Chaleur Estate Blanc, Columbia Valley
“…lime peel-laced fig & melon; honeysuckle & heliotrope add allure; palate balance of waxy texture, piquancy & infectious juiciness. ”
92 points – DeLille Cellars 2009 D2, Columbia Valley
“Tea, mint & pungently high-toned herbal essences swirl around cassis & cherry with their counterparts on a lusciously juicy palate.”
96 points – DeLille Cellars 2009 Harrison Hill, Snipes Mountain
“Brightness, lift waft from the glass & persist in the mouth...the whole underlain by sweet-smoky evocations…finish is a veritable carpet ride.”
95 points – DeLille Cellars 2008 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
“meaty, mineral density underlying sweetly-concentrated dark berry fruit; seamless, ultra-fine tannins culminating in a reverberating finish.”
93 points – DeLille Cellars 2009 Chaleur Estate, Red Mountain
“dominated by ripe morello cherry; accents of peat, tobacco, licorice, allspice. Plush with underlying chew finishing with invigoration...”
International Wine Cellar, Stephen Tanzer Nov/Dec 2013
94 points – DeLille Cellars 2010 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
“Serious power without any excess weight; concentrated & seamless with noble tannins & outstanding palate-staining persistence.”
93 points – DeLille Cellars 2012 Chaleur Estate Blanc, Columbia Valley
“Dense & creamy, offering terrific depth to its pear & honeysuckle flavors. …strong fruit & excellent cut. A beauty.”
92 points – DeLille Cellars 2010 D2, Columbia Valley
“Sexy aromas & flavors of dark berries….mocha & spices; terrific flavor definition & lift….sweet tannins & exhilarating light touch.”
93 points – DeLille Cellars 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Four Flags, Red Mountain
“Highly concentrated, supple and sweet with a slight youthful aggressiveness to the densely packed berry & cocoa flavors; serious tannic spine.”
91 points – Doyenne 2010 AIX, Red Mountain
“Juicy, spicy & penetrating with lovely intensity to the youthfully tight red berry flavors. Finishes sweet & long. Firm, harmonious tannins.”
92 points – Doyenne 2012 Roussanne, Red Mountain
“Complex flavors of beeswax, honeysuckle, pepper and flowers with limey acidity; ripe, intense, subtle & long…fascinating umami texture.”
93 points – DeLille Cellars 2010 Chaleur Estate, Red Mountain
“Vibrant aromas of cassis, blueberry & black cherry. Outstanding intensity to cassis, pomegranate & cocoa flavors; outstanding length & lift.”
95 points – DeLille Cellars 2009 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
“Silky & juicy, then explodes in middle palate….classy, sharply delineated dark fruit & chocolate of uncanny purity. Pure liquid pleasure.”
92 points – Doyenne 2009 Signature Syrah, Yakima Valley
“Knockout nose. At once superripe & energetic with bright acidity giving shape & lift to the dense flavors...finishes long & lively. Superb.”
94 points – DeLille Cellars 2011 Chaleur Estate Blanc, Columbia Valley
“…Silky, suave yet gripping; captivating flavors of lemon zest, honey & dried herbs (imagine major damage in blind flight with high-end Bordeaux whites).”
91 points – Doyenne 2009 AIX, Red Mountain
“Captivating perfume; juicy on the palate with lively acidity framing flavors of blackberry, cassis & black pepper; fine-grained & lingering.”
Wine Enthusiast, Sean Sullivan & Paul Gregutt (Upcoming issue, July 2014)
92 points – DeLille Cellars 2011 Chaleur Estate Red, Red Mountain
91 points – DeLille Cellars 2012 Chaleur Estate Blanc, Yakima Valley
91 points CELLAR SELECTION – DeLille Cellars 2011 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
91 points EDITOR’S CHOICE – Doyenne 2012 Rosé, Yakima Valley
90 points – Doyenne 2011 Métier, Yakima Valley
90 points – Doyenne 2011 Signature Syrah, Red Mountain
June 15, 2012
90 points – DeLille Cellars 2010 Chaleur Estate Blanc, Columbia Valley
“A fresh & citrusy white, this is juicy delivering lemon & verbena aromas & flavors. A touch of tobacco & hint of butter in the finish.”
December 15, 2011
94 points HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – Doyenne 2008 Signature Syrah, Yakima Valley
“Focused, intense & detailed. Layers of flavor on taut, lively frame; blackberry, Italian plum, espresso linger enticingly on energetic finish.”
October 31, 2011
92 points – DeLille Cellars 2007 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
“Firm with chewy tannins. Lively core of plumy & red currant persisting against the tannins on the balanced finish.”
October 15, 2011
92 points – DeLille Cellars 2009 Chaleur Estate Blanc, Columbia Valley
“Rich, silky texture with layers of pear, orange peel, pineapple & fig; not weighty yet wrapped in spicy oak on the finish. Keeps its balance.”