June 13, 2007 - Jack

Wine Blogging Wednesday #34

This month's theme is Washington State Cabernet.
It is hosted by Catie at Through the Walla Walla Grape Vine.
The round-up is here.

1999 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Our wine this month is:
1999 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

Quilceda Creek made 2300 cases of the 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon. It's 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot. More details are here. The winemaking team for this vintage was Alex Golitzin, Paul Golitzin and Marv Crum. Standard practice in winemaking for Quilceda Creek is barrel aging for 22 months in new French oak and bottle aging for 9 months prior to release.

Cabernet Sauvignon is always their top wine, although they also produce Merlot and a Columbia Valley Red Wine (which is a blend of declassified Cabernet Sauvignon and other declassified wine). A Reserve Cabernet was made in 1988, '89, '90 & 1992. A Champoux Vineyard Designated Cabernet Sauvignon was offered in 1997.

According to their website: Quilceda Creek currently use grapes from five vineyards: Champoux Vineyard, Klipsun Vineyard, Tapteil Vineyard, Ciel du Cheval, and Galitzine Estate Vineyard. The word "Quilceda" is from the Tulalip Indian Tribe and means "salt water people".

How to acquire: The 1999 is the first vintage I bought of Quilceda Creek, due to a rave review by Pierre-Antoine Rovani in the Wine Advocate. I purchased it directly from them (mailing list) for $66 a bottle. (The lastest release, the 2004, is priced at $100.) However, Mr. Rovani scored the 2002 and 2003 100 pts, and so the price of even the 1999 has jumped to $200/bottle at retailers. The best way to get future vintages of this wine would to be on their mailing list (which currently has a waiting list).

Who: This winey was founded (bonded) in January of 1978 by Alex and Jeanette Golitzin - Alex really started in 1974. Their son Paul became part of the team in 1988 and has become the lead winemaker. Their first vintage was in 1979
Joanne's Tasting Note: Wine is a notable rubelite garnet color. The nose is tight, as is the wine. Nose of alcohol with blue black fruit mascerated in alcohol underlying. Alcohol with distinctive vanilla and blueberry on finish. Long finish. Very young, tight and unresponsive. Still needs time.

Jack adds: There are strong acids on the finish, adding an almost bitter element. Despite this, the wine is very smooth but not showing much complexity. I'd want to wait four or more years before having another bottle. Five Days Later: Wow, what a great wine! It's rich, dense finish just has that thing that makes a cabernet great. I must resist opening another bottle for at least 5 years.

Notes and reviews from Quilceda Creek's website are here.

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