Quilceda Creek Vinters
Robert M. Parker's Wine Advocate Review

Quilceda Creek 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
Quilceda Creek 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon "Galitzine Vyd."
Quilceda Creek 2004 Merlot
Quilceda Creek 2004 Red Wine
Columbia Vly
Columbia Vly
Columbia Vly
Columbia Vly
Red 99
Red 97
Red 94
Red 92

The more things change, the more they remain the same. When I visited Quilceda Creek Vintners for the first time in 1990, I wrote in Issue 69, “Owner/winemaker Alex Golitzin, the nephew of Andre Tchelistcheff, makes only one wine, Washington’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon.” Since then, the portfolio has expanded to include a Merlot, a Red Wine (for declassified lots) and a Cabernet Sauvignon from the winery’s new Galitzine Vineyard, located near the superb Champoux Vineyard where much of the fruit is sourced for the renowned Cabernet Sauvignon. And Quilceda Creek continues to make Washington’s (and arguably, America’s) greatest Cabernet Sauvignon. Alex Golitzin is now assisted by his son Paul and the new winery (amazingly concealed in a residential neighborhood) is a model of ergonomic efficiency.

The Golitzins describe 2004 as "difficult." There was a winter freeze (which wiped out much of the production in nearby Walla Walla Valley), more wine was declassified than normal, and it was a high yield vintage. Nevertheless, the beat went on at Quilceda Creek. The 2004 Red Wine is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Merlot from declassified fruit and may be considered a second label. Purple-colored, it gives up a toasty nose of vanilla, violets, cassis, black currants, and blackberry. This leads to a rich, layered, black fruit-flavored, and smoothly textured wine that offers considerable elegance. There is enough ripe tannin to support 3-4 years of further evolution and it should drink well through 2022. It is an excellent introduction to the style of Quilceda Creek. The 2004 Merlot includes 12% Cabernet Franc in the blend and was sourced from the Champoux and Tapteil Vineyards. The wine was aged for 22 months in 100% new French oak. Purple-colored, it has a splendid perfume of "pain grille", spice box, cranberry, red and black currants, and red licorice. This is followed by a lush Merlot that offers layers of sweet fruit, complex flavors, light tannins, and a sense of sophistication. This superb Merlot can be enjoyed now but will add complexity and fill out with another 5-6 years in the cellar. It should provide pleasure through 2024. The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon "Galitzine Vineyard" comes from the fourth leaf of this estate vineyard and is the first release of the wine, made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 22 months in 100% new French oak. Opaque purple-colored, it has a superb bouquet of "pain grille", scorched earth, truffle, walnuts, black cherry, and blackberry liqueur which leaps from the glass. On the palate it is sweet and rich with layers of spicy black fruit flavors, terrific balance, and a 45+ second finish. It does not have quite the weight and depth of the flagship Cabernet but keep in mind that this is the product of a young vineyard only beginning to express its enormous potential. The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon contains 3% Merlot and 1% Cabernet [Franc] with the wine sourced from the Champoux, Klipsun, and Tapteil Vineyards. It was aged for 22 months in 100% new French oak. There are 3400 cases produced, most of it sold through the winery’s mailing list and the rest in a handful of markets. Opaque purple-colored, it delivers a remarkable array of aromas including "pain grille", violets, pencil lead, truffle, Asian spices, black currant, and blueberry. This leads to a lustrous, layered, velvet-textured wine with gobs of spicy, ripe black fruits and beautifully integrated oak, tannin, and acidity. The long, pure finish goes on for well over a minute. It will evolve for a decade and drink well through 2045. I was able to retaste the 2001, 2002, and 2003 vintages and can only say that Monsieur Rovani’s notes and scores are right on the bulls-eye.

The Golitzins describe 2005 as a "dream vintage." Their 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon has been bottled and appears to be even better than its 2004 sibling and at least as good as the 2002 and 2003. No doubt collectors will debate the merits of 2001 – 2005 for decades to come. Tel. (360) 568-2389; www.quilcedacreek.com