Bottle Notes, Cabernet Sauvignon

Quilceda Creek Spring 2015 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 2012 version of each. To their credit, the pours are substantial allowing you to fairly evaluate the wines. The wines had been open for 1-2 hours prior to pouring.

Although I did not write a note on the ’12 Columbia Valley Red it was the best version of this bottling in recent memory. On top of that the wine was available for purchase the day of the event as well.

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Deep Crimson in color. 15.2% ABV. Fruit from Champux, Klipsun, Palengat, and Wallula Vineyards. Subdued nose of blue fruits, violets, minerals and cocoa. Elegant but suprisingly powerful. On the palate the wine shows blueberries, currants, crème de cassis, graphite and licorice. Incredibly silky tannins on an exceptionally long finish. So approachable and delicious right now but at the same time this wine has the potential to show well for at least the next decade.

My rating: 97 points.

Quilceda Creek is on a roll and the ’12 Cabernet Sauvignon is every bit as good as the highly acclaimed ’10 and ’11. $145 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!

I blogged about Quilceda Creek previously in The Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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4 thoughts on “Quilceda Creek Spring 2015 Release Party

  1. Hey Tom,
    I was blown away by the Cab. It was the most approachable QC I’ve ever tasted in my 6 years of being on their list. I’m always a little amused by their release party. On one hand I understand the need for the tokens but then it strikes me as mildly insulting, especially at their wine’s price point. I do agree though, they give you a generous poor, which for me eliminates the need for a revisit of the wine.

  2. I’m sure they’re advised by their counsel that tokens limit their liability. They are known to be a generous family.

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