Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 0,75
Robert Parker 96P
More serious, and one of the wines of the vintage, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) has uncommon concentration and depth in the vintage, as well as a broad, structured profile that will allow it to age gracefully. Loaded with sweet creme de cassis, exotic spice, licorice and graphite, it’s a full-bodied, elegant and classically styled effort that has nothing out of place, fine, building tannin and a rock star finish. It will be approachable at an earlier stage than most vintages, yet still have two decades of longevity.
Always producing some of the finest Bordeaux blends in any vintage, owners/winemakers Alex and Paul Golitzin continue to keep Quilceda Creek at the pinnacle of Cabernet Sauvignon in Washington State with these 2011s and 2012s. Looking at their 2011s, yields were down close to 40%, and this shows with the wines possessing gorgeous depth, richness and concentration. While Paul feels his 2011s are just as concentrated as his 2010s, the overall impression between these two cool vintages is distinctly different and the 2011s show much more up-front, perfumed and supple profiles. As always, the tannin management here is second to none and while the 2011s have plenty of tannin, you have to hunt for it as they’re incredibly polished and silky. These 2011s will be approachable at an earlier stage than normal, yet evolve gracefully on their overall balance. Looking at the 2012s, I was blown away by these samples, which were shipped to Colorado and then followed for multiple days. Described as a “good” and “welcome” vintage by Paul, the wines have blockbuster levels of concentration and richness, yet stay beautifully pure, elegant and focused. They’re up there with the creme de la creme from this fantastic estate. Don’t miss them. Alcohols here are in the 15.5 range (with the 2011 around 15), but you’d never know it from tasting the wines. The big news at this estate is that with vineyard-owner Paul Champoux retiring, the Golitzin’s were able to increase their ownership in the Champoux Vineyard from 40% to 66%. Other owners here include Powers, Andrew Will and Woodward Canyon. How this effects the overall production levels is yet to be determined, but a top producer getting more grapes from a top site is never a bad thing from a consumer standpoint.
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 0,75
Robert Parker 98P
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is brilliant. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, mostly from the famous Champoux Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills, it was aged all in new oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered. It offers a captivating bouquet of black cherry liqueur and cassis-like fruit, Asian spice, coffee bean and lead pencil shavings to go with a full-bodied, ripe, seamless and hedonistic style on the palate. One of the more approachable, opulent examples of this cuvee, it has no hard edges, plenty of tannin and a massive, heady finish. Give it 2-4 years in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2032.
Quilceda Creek Red Wine Colombia Valley 2012 0,75
Robert Parker 93PA smoking effort that shows the beauty of the 2012 vintage, Golitzin's 2012 CVR Colombia Valley Red Wine is made from a declassified blend of most Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller parts Merlot and Malbec. It's offers a brilliant, almost Bordeaux-like, bouquet of sweet cassis, lead pencil shavings, graphite and hints of toast that flows to a full-bodied, layered, seamless Cabernet that has integrated acidity, sweet tannin and a great finish that doesn't lack for richness or persistence. Already hard to resist, it will nevertheless continue to drink nicely for another decade or more.This is another serious lineup by Paul and Alex Golitzin and I was able to taste their 2012s multiple times, once at my office in Colorado where I was able to follow the wines for multiple days, and then during a visit at the estate just north of Snohomish. In both cases they showed beautifully, with the ripe, exuberant style that's common in the vintage. When speaking about the '12s, Paul told me that it was an "easy growing season and that you had to be selective." In addition, they had more production from Champoux (which was hit hard by frost in 2011) due to their increased ownership in the vineyard after the retirement of Paul Champoux. Looking at their 2013s, these are more restrained and classic in style, yet have terrific concentration, and I actually preferred their slightly more focused, pure style. We'll see how these round out once in bottle, but they're certainly terrific wines and in line with the expected quality from this estate. Yields as a whole were down in 2013 compared to 2012, but I didn't get a feel for the percentage or effect on the case production of the cuvees.