A standout in Washington wine, founded in 1979, Quilceda Creek has been one of the most consistently outstanding producers of Cabernet in North America. Last Friday I had the chance to visit the winery and taste there. The spotlight was on the warm, 2014 vintage which was the hottest vintage on record to that point in Washington state. The new release wines from Quilceda were simply stunning.
One of the best values in Washington wine is their 2014 ‘CVR’ (WWB, 94) which impressed even more than when I first reviewed the wine in December, 2016. This wine now is even more plush, open and downright delicious than how it showed upon release. At the 40 dollar retail price point, this wine is a knockout value. One of the best wines I have reviewed this year was the 2014 Quilceda Creek ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet (WWB 99). This true heavyhitter flirts with perfection and walks the line between being brooding and elegant. This is one of the best of its kind that I have ever had from this storied state. The best ‘Galitzine Vineyard’ Cabernet by Quilceda that I have ever sampled is their new 2014 bottling (WWB, 99). This vineyard is truly coming into its own as the resultant wine is a rockstar bottling that is hugely intense and elegant, showing massive dark fruits and strong tannins. Hats off to superstar winemaker, Paul Golitzen, who has crafted some of the best Cabernet wine in the United States. Learn more about this famed estate at http://quilcedacreek.com Here are the stunning new wines by Quilceda Creek.
2014 Quiceda Creek ‘CVR’ Red Wine- This wine begins with aromatics of crushed wet rock, red cherry, anise and creme de cassis. Thew mouthfeel is dense and intense with flavors of creme de cassis, coffee grounds, mocha and crushed mint. The mouthfeel is intense as the rich flavors delight the senses. This has lovely tension, precision and minerality, as the weight and structure shine through. This is intense and absolutely gorgeous right now as the fruit weight and plush texture has improved since this was first reviewed in December 2016. This wine is truly one of the best value red wines made in Washington. Drink 2017-2027- 94
2014 Quilceda Creek ‘Palengat’ Red Wine- This is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc. This vintage has utilized considerably less Merlot than the previous vintage. The is entirely sourced from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. The aromatics are dense and somewhat spicy showing spicebox, anise, creme de cassis, coffee grounds and cayenne pepper. The heady aromas bring you back to the glass for more.The mouthfeel is voluptuous and intense. Creme de cassis, anise, coffee grounds, candied red cherry and hints of pipe tobacco flavors persist. The red wine is showing its masculine side as the Cabernet component is stealing the show at the moment. Tannins are moderate at this juncture and you can get a touch of herbaceousness from the Cabernet Franc towards the back end. This excellent red wine will cellar marvelously for a decade or more. Drink 2017-2030- 95
2014 Quilceda Creek ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet- This 100% Cabernet wine was aged for 21 months in new French oak and was sourced from the Champoux, Palengat and Wallula VIneyards. Having a dense core this inky colored Cabernet wine begins with a ripe bouquet of rose petals, creme de cassis, anise, milk chocolate coated dark cherries and sweet pipe tobacco. The heady aromatics are downright monstrous, yet depict a wonderful sense of place which brings out the wine’s femininity. The palate is plush and intense, showing a wonderful softness as this juncture. There are deep flavors of black forest cake, black olive tapenade, creme de cassis, mocha and suggestions of eucalyptus. The minerality is absolutely fabulous as this wine brings near perfect tension, voluptuous fruits and an exceedingly long finish. If enjoying young be sure to decant for at least two hours. There is a seamless quality to this wine that reminds me of the unbelievable 2004 Quilceda Creek ‘Columbia Valley’ bottling. This gorgeous Cabernet wine is both massive and elegant. This stunning wine will cellar well for two decades. Drink 2018-2035- 99
2014 Quilceda Creek ‘Galitzine Vineyard’ Cabernet- This 100% Cabernet wine was sourced from the esteemed Galitzine Vineyard in Red Mountain, which was first planted in 2000 and 2001. The Galitzine Vineyard is 100% owned and controlled by Quilceda Creek. The wine was aged for 21 months in 100% French oak prior to botlting. This Cabernet has an even more dense core than 2014 ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet bottling. The aromatics are loaded with dark fruits including candied black cherry, black raspberry cordial, Hoisin sauce, creme de cassis and Turkish coffee with hints of crushed mint. These gorgeous aromatics make you sit at your glass and think of this hot vintage and vineyard site which is really coming into its own. The mouthfeel and texture to this stunning Cabernet wine is simply incredible. The mid-palate weight is simply massive at this juncture and is like nothing that I have sampled in the past year from Washington. Moderate to major tannins frame uber-dense flavors of black olive tapenade, sweet pipe tobacco, wild blackberry preserves, dark chocolate shavings and suggestions of Chinese black tea. Exotic, intense and layered, this massive wine will cellar marvelously over the next two decades. The wine is becoming even more divergent to the ‘Columbia Valley’ bottling as this shows even more intensity and fruit weight on the mid-palate. This is nearly impossible to resist right now in its nascency due to the massive weight but try to resist it for at least another year for the tannins to mellow. Drink 2018-2035- 99