Bottle Notes, Cabernet Sauvignon

Quilceda Creek Spring 2014 Release Party

Quilceda Creek Vintners was founded in 1978 by Alex and Jeanette Golitzin. Alex is the 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 winery is located in a residential area just Northeast of Everett, WA. The location limits them to opening their doors just once a year for a Spring Release Party, where only the flagship Cabernet Sauvignon and Columbia Valley Red Wine are poured. This years release party featured the 2011 version of each. To their credit, the pours are substantial allowing you to fairly evaluate the wines.

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – Purple in color. 15.2% ABV. Fruit from Champux, Klipsun, Palengat, Tapteil and Wallula Vineyards. Blue and red fruits, violets and minerals on the nose. Powerful and immensely concentrated. Blueberry liqueur, cassis, currants, cedar and vanilla on the palate. The classic iron fist in a velvet glove. Silky, fine grained tannins on the endless finish. A complete blockbuster. Drink over the next 20 years. I prefer this vintage to the ’10 tasted last Spring and if you recall the ’10 garnered a spot in the Wine Spectators top 10 wines of last year.

My rating: 97 points.

$140 off the mailing list.

If you are not on the mailing list the wine can be found at retail for the next few weeks. Happy hunting!

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6 thoughts on “Quilceda Creek Spring 2014 Release Party

  1. What is it about the 2011 vintage that makes you prefer the 2011 Quilceda Creek Cabernet over the 2010 Cabernet, Tom?

    1. Peter, the 2010 was completely shut down at the release party. It was really hard to get a read on the wine. Perhaps it was not decanted long enough? The 2011 was stunning by comparison.

  2. I also thought the 11 was much better than the 10. The red table wine was quite nice also. I bought a lot less QC this year based on my 2010 tasting. After the release party, I was regretting it a bit…

  3. Hi Tom,

    I do agree with you that this wine was more approachable than the 2010. I think this wine will score higher than the 2010 because it’s fuller and more plush but IMO I like the 2010 more(I am one not to always agree with the ratings). When I look for a Bordeaux blend, I want the gravelly minerality and earthiness. I believe the 2010 was one of their best vintages that showcased the vineyards and it’s minerality. Those were my thoughts.

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