Bottle Notes, Merlot

2003 Quilceda Creek Merlot – Bottle Notes

2003 Quilceda Creek Merlot

Quilceda Creek Vintners was founded in 1978 by Alex and Jeanette Golitzin. Alex Golitzin is a nephew of André Tchelistcheff, the legendary winemaker who put Beaulieu Vineyard at the forefront of Napa Valley Cabernet in the 1960s and 70s. He credits summer trips to visit his uncle in St. Helena, California with developing his early interest in wine. Alex’s son, Paul Golitzin is now chief winemaker at the winery.

Quilceda Creek Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon has earned some of the highest scores of any wine produced in the United States. The 2002, ’03, ’05 and ’07 vintages all scored 100-point ratings from Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. The 2003 vintage of Quilceda Creek’s Cabernet Sauvignon was named the No. 2 Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator. Quilceda Creek produces several single vineyard Cabernets, and they also bottled a Merlot through the ’06 vintage.

The 2003 Merlot is a blend of 87.5% Merlot from Champoux Vineyard and 12.5% Cabernet Franc from Tapteil Vineyard. Dark garnet in color and just starting to fade slightly on the edges. Black fruits and tar on the nose. Concentrated and lush on the palate. Cherries, raspberries, mocha and cedar. Super silky tannins on the finish. Drink over the next 5 years or so.

While the Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon is decidedly new world in style, the ’03 Merlot would fare well against some of the finest from St. Emilion and Pomerol.

My rating: 94 points.

Current vintages of the Cabernet Sauvignon can be obtained via the mailing list and at retail.

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