As I strolled my way into the famed Snohomish, Washington winery I was immediately met with a smile from Paul Golitzin. We would be spending a Friday afternoon together, tasting through his glorious new lineup and talking about favorite wines of the world. Paul is affable, witty and truly one of the finest winemakers in North America. Quilceda Creek has received more 100 point scores by Robert Parker than any other North American winery. I first began tasting these wines in the late 1990s and fondly recall some of my all-time favorite bottlings. These are special wines that mark celebrations, graduations and anniversaries. Regardless of vintage, Quilceda Creek produces absolutely remarkable Cabernet wines.
The new lineup I tasted came from the warm, 2016 vintage. While this vintage did not possess the heat spikes of 2015, the heat was still a challenge to manage for some producers. Paul talked about the steps that he has taken in the vineyard to mitigate heat issues. At times these vineyard practices will lower vineyard temperatures by eight degrees, which is just remarkable. The new 2016 releases were absolutely dazzling across the board. His 2016 Quilceda Creek ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 99) is up there with the best wine that I have tried in the past year. Having tried this wine now on four occasions, this wine truly flirts with perfection with a seamless quality that magically combines with the hedonistic dark fruit flavors. The wine is elegant and is not to be missed by any serious collector of Washington wine. Learn more about these beautiful wines at quilcedacreek.com Here are the new wines by Quilceda Creek.
2016 Quilceda Creek ‘CVR’ Red Wine- The 2016 ‘CVR’ Red Wine is a stunning new bottling by this famed winery. The nose is very pretty and perfumed with red rose petals that combine with the marvelous dark and blue fruits on the nose. The texture here is outstanding with a wonderfully rich mouthfeel. Ripe red and dark fruits with a touch of blueberry compote and chocolate flavors all combine marvelously on the palate. While remarkable in its youth, this will cellar well over the next ten to fifteen years. Drink 2019-2032- 93
2016 Quilceda Creek ‘Palengat’ Red Wine- The ‘Palengat’ Red Wine has been slowly moving towards having more Cabernet Sauvignon blended in. In 2016 the Cabernet Sauvignon (83%) truly shines in the blend, as this is up there with the best ‘Palengat’ wines ever made. The seductive nose shows copious non-fruit aromatics with tar and mocha aromas that combine with the decadent dark fruits and dark chocolate shaving aromatics that build in the glass. The palate is deep and layered with Turkish coffee, blueberry compote, anise and creme de cassis flavors that combine with a remarkable freshness and soft mouthfeel. The texture really brings you back to the glass for more. This wine is drinking marvelously now but has a very long life ahead of it. Drink 2020-2035- 95
2016 Quilceda Creek ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2016 Quilceda Creek ‘Columbia Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon is a simply stunning and seamless new bottling by superstar winemaker Paul Golitzin. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine was sourced from the Champoux, Wallula and Lake Wallula Vineyards and was aged in 100% new French oak prior to bottling. On the nose this takes on wonderful toasty oak character that wraps around blueberry compote, Turkish coffee, with shades of violets, exotic spices, anise and sagebrush accents. The balance and silky texture imparted in the wine is scintillating. Mocha, blueberry cordial, sagebrush, creme de cassis and shades of eucalyptus flavors all marvelously combine on the palate. The exceedingly long finish lingers. Tasted over several hours this wine becomes even softer and more harmonious. A true tour de force, the 2016 Quilceda Creek is up there with the best wines ever made from this estate. Drink 2020-2040- 99
2016 Quilceda Creek ‘Galitzine Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2016 ‘Galitzine Vineyard’ Cabernet is a simply magical effort which blends 5% Lake Wallula Cabernet Sauvignon into the Galitzine Vineyard fruit. The wine was entirely aged in new Darnajou French barrels prior to bottling. Heady aromatics greet you with creosote, deep red rose petals, mocha, cigar ash and shades of Black Forest cake that all develop in the glass. The flavors are absolutely marvelous, as is the silky texture. Decadent black tea, Asian spices, creme de cassis, blueberry compote and blackberry pie flavors. The dark fruit, tar and mineral-driven finish culminates this scintillating new wine. While marvelous in its youth, this will only get better with some time in the bottle. Drink 2020-2040- 98