2012 Domaine de Nalys, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée Réserve, $57.25
Winery info: Nalys is one of the oldest estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, mentioned in 17th century local village land surveys. It belonged to the Nalys family up until the French Revolution, then went through a series of owners over the years, until this summer, when it was purchased by E. Guigal, one of the best-known négociants in the Rhône Valley. They have 124 acres of vineyards including plots in the coveted La Crau, most famously associated with Vieux Télégraphe.
Winemaker: This one was produced by the previous Nalys team, although the Guigals intend to become more involved in the winemaking process in the future.
Grapes: 68% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 2% Terret Noir
Vineyard: Primarily on the galet stone-strewn vineyards of “La Crau” and “Le Bois Sénéchal.”
Flavor Profile: Dark and rich, with layers of concentrated flavors of black cherries and plums, solid tannic structure, and wonderful depth and texture.
Availability: They make about 2000 bottles of this wine annually. There is a tiny bit of this vintage left.
Drinkability: It is approachable on release, but it should continue to develop up to 2025.
Food Pairing: Roast lamb, prime rib, duck with cranberries, or game birds.
2015 DeLille Cellars, Chaleur Estate Blanc, $38
Winery info: Founded in 1992 in Woodinville, by Charles and Greg Lill, Jay Soloff, and Chris Upchurch, modeled after the top châteaux of Bordeaux. They quickly gained a stellar reputation for their impeccably made wines, which has continued to this day. They have produced a Chaleur Estate Blanc every year since 1995.
Winemaker: Executive winemaker, Chris Upchurch, and winemaker Jason Gorski
Grapes: 73% Sauvignon Blanc, 27% Semillon
Vineyards: 51% Sagemoor (with some of the oldest and finest plantings of Sauvignon Blanc in the state), 29% Boushey, and 20% Kilpsun, all in the Columbia Valley
Flavor Profile: Elegant and expressive, with aromas of citrus and brioche and rich, complex layers of fruit and spice, all balanced by clean, crisp acidity and a touch of vanilla.
Availability: This wine is always very limited. There is a bit left.
Drinkability: Anytime over the next few years, or you could cellar it up to 2020
Food Pairing: Bordeaux white blends are very versatile, pairing well with all manner of seafood, sushi, or with veal, chicken, or pork dishes.