2013 Viu Manent, “El Incidente” Carménère, $49.75
Winery info: This Chilean winery has belonged to the Viu family since 1935. Located in Chile’s Colchauga Valley, their property includes 150 hectares of pre-phylloxera vines originally brought from France. A long-time source of excellent value wines here in the shop, they also produce some stunning higher end wines such as this one, named for an ill-fated balloon flight Viu Manent’s founder took with some friends over their vineyards which ended unexpectedly when they landed in an open air market in the town of Santa Cruz.
Grapes: 97% Carménère (from 23-year-old vines) and 3% Malbec (from 100-plus year-old vines). Aged 17 months in French oak barrels (41% new)
Vineyard: Sourced from the winery’s best vineyards: the Carménère comes from their La Capilla Vineyard, at 750 feet elevation with limestone soil, and the Malbec from San Carlos, their original vineyard and one of the oldest in Chile, established in the mid-19th century on deep, loamy clay soil at 800 feet elevation.
Flavor Profile: Wonderfully rich and complex, with great structure and fresh, balancing acidity. A profound, yet elegant wine with flavors of dark fruit, black pepper, a hint of underbrush, and silky tannins.
Availability: This is a limited release, with only 3,500 total bottles produced, so it is not in huge supply.
Drinkability: Enjoy now through 2025
Food Pairing: Carménère is a great partner for grilled or roasted meats—beef, venison, poultry, or lamb. Or you could try it with Cuban-style pork dishes.
2018 DeLille Cellars, Chaleur Blanc, $38
Winery info: Founded in 1992 in Woodinville, by Charles and Greg Lill, Jay Soloff, and Chris Upchurch. DeLille was one of the first Washington wineries to focus on producing Bordeaux-style blends and they quickly gained a stellar reputation for their impeccably made wines, which continues to this day. Chris Upchurch has made the wines since the beginning and is still executive winemaker. Jason Gorski was promoted to director of winemaking and viticulture in January, 2019.
Grapes: 71% Sauvignon Blanc and 29% Sémillon, fermented in French oak (60% new) and aged about seven months on its lees, with weekly stirring.
Vineyards: Sagemoor (43%), Boushey (32.5%), and Klipsun (24.5%) vineyards.
Flavor Profile: This wine is full-bodied and elegant, with a lovely mouth feel and perfect balance between the clean, crisp flavors of the Sauv Blanc and the rich depth and complexity of the Semillon. With notes of citrus, stone fruit, and herbs, and lovely texture from the lees aging.
Availability: 5,000 cases produced. As a new release, it is still in good supply.
Drinkability: Now through 2025
Food Pairing: When asked about favorite food pairings, Jason Gorski said: “Dungeness crab. Period.”