As part of Washington Wine Month we bring you one of the world’s top producers of Cabernet Sauvignon. A winery needing no introduction, Quilceda Creek has received more 100 point scores by Robert Parker than any other North American winery. I have been enamored by these wines since I first tried them in the late 1990s. I have memories of some of my favorite ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignons. The stunning 2005 comes to mind, celebrating a special occasion. More recently I tried a 2011 Quilceda Creek ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon which was truly one of the monumental wines made in this highly challenging vintage.
2015 was not an easy year for many Washington winemakers. With heat spikes and an early growing season, many winemakers were forced to pick rather early. Speaking with Quilceda Creek superstar winemaker, Paul Golitzin, he mentioned how good practices in the vineyard led to a later growing season for his Cabernet in 2015. He absolutely nailed his new set of releases. One thing that I saw throughout his tasting is the truly seamless quality that shines through his wines, as they glide through the palate. There was also a marvelous purity of fruit, whether it was his entry level wine or his top ‘Columbia Valley’ bottling. Paul is a truly gifted winemaker and you can see his reach for perfection in the glass.
I am amazed by the 2015 Quilceda Creek ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 98). I tried this wine briefly at a wine event earlier this year and was not quite as enamored by the wine. I sat with this wine later in the day and was amazed by how the wine showed seduction yet restraint. There was marvelous weight to the wine but a silky elegance. It is the best wine that I have sampled this year. Learn more about this insanely good lineup of wines at quilcedacreek.com Here are the new wines by Quilceda Creek.
2015 Quilceda Creek ‘CVR’ Red Wine- The wine is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. The plush mouthfeel shows a beautiful texture. Black tea, black cherry compote, mocha and a touch of herbal notes mark this wine that shows wonderful poise and tension. The wine is showing marvelously right now but be sure to give this an extended decant prior to enjoying. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2015 Quilceda Creek ‘Palengat’ Red Wine- The Cabernet has been increasing in this blend, now up to 81% with 13% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. This wine was aged for 20 months in 100% new French oak prior to bottling. The wine shows some heady aromatics off black tea, creme de cassis, mocha and tar with a touch of blue fruits shining brightly as well. There is a beautiful purity of fruit on the nose. The mouthfeel is plush, as the wine takes on a dense and decadent soft texture. Black tea, creme de cassis, Turkish coffee and blueberry compote flavors all mingle brilliantly. There is a wonderful purity of fruit with this gorgeous bottling as this glides through the mid-palate. Only 725 cases made of this outstanding wine. A long ager, the 2015 ‘Palengat’ Red Wine will cellar marvelously over the next two plus decades. Drink 2018-2035- 95
2015 Quilceda Creek ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2015 Quilceda Creek ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon is the best red wine that I have sampled from this vintage in Washington. The wine was sourced from the Champoux (roughly 70% of the fruit), Palengat, Wallula and Lake Wallula Vineyards. While this has the Columbia Valley AVA on the bottle, it is primarily a Horse Heaven Hills wine. The wine shows creme de cassis, pencil lead and black tea with a touch of red cherry compote on the nose. The heady aromatics bring you back to the glass for more pleasure. The palate is silky smooth and marvelously coats the mouth. Lightly tannic, the wine slowly unveils blueberry compote, blackberry cobbler, mocha, and creme de cassis flavors that build in the glass. The minerality, weight and overall presentation of the wine is simply astounding, as is the long and lingering black fruit and mineral driven finish. There is a seamless quality to this wine really shines through with every lingering sip. This is a truly monumental effort in a vintage that was challenging due to severe heat spikes throughout the summer growing season. Drink 2018-2035- 98
2015 Quilceda Creek ‘Galitzine Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2015 Quilceda Creek ‘Galitzine Vineyard’ is every bit as good as the 2015 ‘Columbia Valley’ bottling, as this wine has become quite divergent to its big brother. The wine has 5% of Cabernet from the Lake Wallula Vineyard blended in. The wine displays an inky color in the glass and takes on a more masculine, dark fruit profile than the ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet, which shows a touch of lifted rose petals that creep in. Creosote, blackberry compote, black tea, Asian spice and creme de cassis aromatics generously coagulate in the glass. The palate shows absolutely wonderful terroir with marvelous intensity and verve. Vibrant acidity marks this wine that shows rich black tea, tar, creme de cassis and anise as dark fruit and non-fruit flavors dominate the palate. This has wonderful grip and precision, marvelously showcasing what is one of the top vineyards in the state. Drink 2018-2035- 97