Quilceda Creek Vinters
The Great Wines of America: The Top Forty Vintners, Vineyards, and Vintages.
Published by Norton Publishing

"Our quest," (Golitzin) says, "is the ultimate Cabernet." That grail may be beyond their (or anyone’s) reach, but Quilceda Creek’s wines, especially those made over the past decade, compete favorable with the finest from both the New and the Old worlds. They combine the opulent fruit of California with the nuanced, earthly character of great claret, thus manifesting the sort of stylistic synthesis that vintners across the globe frequently proclaim as a goal but hardly every actually achieve. Put simply, Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon is the New World wine that tastes more than new. (Page 286)

"Paul decided to follow me in winemaking," Alex says, "But really it would be more proper to say that I am following in his footsteps, as he is a far better winemaker. He has an outstanding palate and is extremely creative. Our wine is as good as it is today primarily due to Paul."

That may be a bit of an overstatement. The rise in quality at Quilceda Creek over the past decades has been due in large measure to responsibilities being so clearly defined. While the family tries to make most decision by consensus, situations inevitably arise in which someone has to have the final word. "We taste together, using a hundred-point scale, when making the wine," Paul explains. "If a lot gets under ninety-five points, it’s out." And what happens if they don’t agree? "We usually do," he says with a smile; "but if we don’t, it’s my call."

When it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon, Paul Golitzin defines the best as a wine with ample but not heavy concentration, one that will taste appealing when young and then improve with time spent in the bottle. "We want to make a wine that will hit plateau of maturity seven or eight years after the vintage," he says, "and then last for ten or twenty year more. That’s what all the great Cabs do." (Page 290)

The international wine press raves about them, and connoisseurs treasure them. Distribution has to be tightly allocated, as demand inevitably exceeds supply. The Golitzin’s ambition has come very close to being realized. They, however, are not satisfied. Both father and son insist that this wine can get even better, for they are convinced that Washington has the potential to produce the world’s finest Cabernet –based wines. (Page 293)

To ready more about Quilceda Creek in Paul Lukacs' new book The Great Wines of America: The Top Forty Vintners, Vineyards, and Vintages, please go to: