Buying Wine, Random Musings

An Open Letter to Quilceda Creek Winery

Quilceda Creek

Dear Quilceda Creek,

As we get closer to the release of the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, I respectfully ask that you consider holding the line in regard to pricing.

I have been buying Quilceda Creek since the late 1980’s. I still have a few bottles of both the 1992 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and, perhaps my all time favorite, the 1994. Quilceda Creek is often on my table for  birthdays, anniversaries and the holidays. I look forward to attending the release party and sampling the new wines each Spring.

Suffice it to say the wine is near and dear to me.

Given the scores and accolades that have been bestowed upon your wines over the past 10 years, I can understand the argument that price increases have been warranted. As you know, no other winery has ever had a better run with regard to scores than Quilceda Creek did from 2002 to 2008. Perfect 100 point scores in ’02, ’03, ’05 and ’07. 99 point scores in ’04, ’06 and ’08. Simply unprecedented.

I recently took a look at my purchase prices for the Cabernet Sauvignon, going back to 1999:

  • 1999 – $66
  • 2000 – $68
  • 2001 – $72
  • 2002 – $76
  • 2003 – $84
  • 2004 – $100
  • 2005 – $115
  • 2006 – $125
  • 2007 – $125
  • 2008 – $130
  • 2009 – $135

Quilceda Creek is now one of the most expensive wines produced in Washington, and rightfully so. The pricing is on par with the Leonetti Reserve. The wine also commands a $50 premium to other top tier Washington Cabernet, including Woodward Canyon Old Vines, Cayuse Widowmaker and Leonetti. In fact, I could probably make an argument that it is still under-priced when compared to its Napa Valley peers.

All that said, the fact remains that the wine has increased in price 10 of the last 11 vintages. At this rate, it won’t be long before some of your loyal fans will no longer be able to justify purchasing it. Please  maintain your pricing.

Sincerely yours,

Tom Lee

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5 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Quilceda Creek Winery

  1. with all due respect I have never understood the hype involved with QC…every time have tasted has been average at best-even the year with 100 point rating…perhaps its time to find a new love…

  2. Tom:
    I understand you want to be rewarded for your loyalty, but this is basic economics. If you sell all your product then you raise your prices. QC is still cheaper than the majority of high end CA Cabs that are not as highly rated. Try buying Saxsum from Paso. They went from $75 to $400 due to the demand. Last I checked we were still a capitalist country, for now anyway.

    1. I agree Luis. The wine is still inexpensive to its peers in Napa. In regards to Saxum the wines are still around $80 from the winery. The 07 Saxum James Berry does command $400 at auction though due to the perfect score.

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