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Washington Wine Blog’s review of Quilceda Creek’s 2018 Vintage

Paul with 4 bottles of Quilceda Creek

It was an honor to taste the pre-release 2018 wines with superstar director of winemaking Paul Golitzin of Quilceda Creek.

Sitting across, socially distanced from superstar winemaker Paul Golitzin, I knew what an honor it was to be the first wine critic to try their 2018 wines. The 2018 vintage marks the 40th vintage for Quilceda Creek, a remarkable winery story that is truly one of the greats not only in Washington but in North America. “The 2018 vintage was moderately warm and in the end it cooled off and gave us a lot of hang time” said Paul. He admitted that he has been really excited about how his new plantings at the Champoux Vineyard are showing. “They are vibrant in the glass and have wonderful perfume that adds a different dimension to the wines. Clone 191 has tones of power and a black walnut character that I taste 191 from the tank.” While in Hawaii Paul enjoyed a 2003 Chateau Latour which reminded him of this Clone 191 Cabernet Sauvignon with the signature perfumed character of the wine. He continued to share how important clonal selection has been in crafting his wines. “Clone 412 is hugely spice driven while 685 has black fruit and amazing perfume to it. I think it reminds me of Cabernet Franc, it is innately Cabernet Franc yet is Cabernet Sauvignon. That is probably my favorite clone.”

The many layers in these wines is quite enthralling. Even in their entry level wine, the 2018 Quilceda Creek ‘CVR’ (WWB, 94) you can really feel the floral tones and complexity of this wine, with voluptuous fruit character ranging from black to blue fruits. I absolutely love this wine. Even better is their 2018 Quilceda Creek ‘Palengat’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 96) which I feel is their best ‘Palengat’ ever crafted. This stunning bottling is utterly sensational right now after a lot of air and will cellar well for more than fifteen years. Both the ‘Columbia Valley’ and ‘Galitzine Vineyard’ bottlings are going to be monumental wines and need a bit more time in the bottle, but I was able to get a really good feel for these wines over several hours. I can say that both wines have the potential to be as good as any ever produced, as I gave a preliminary rating of 98-100 on both wines and will revisit them in the future.

Finally, I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Quilceda Creek on their 40th vintage and their dedication to crafting world class wines and paving the way for so many in the Washington Wine Industry. Learn more about this storied winery at quilcedacreek.com. Here are my notes for the future release 2018 wines.

2018 Quilceda Creek ‘CVR’ Red Wine- The 2018 ‘CVR’ by Quilceda Creek is a gorgeous wine that is showing brilliantly even at the two year mark. A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon with 4% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. The nose shows wonderful florals with violets and red rose petals, combining with sagebrush and a deep core of dark fruits with underlying blueberry cobbler. The palate is fresh and viscous with a wonderful veil of tension. Ripe blackberries and blueberry compote flavors mingles with cassis tones and light tannins. Drink 2020-2032- 94

2018 Quilceda Creek ‘Palengat’ Cabernet Sauvignon- Named after Paul Golitzin’s mother’s French heritage, the 2018 ‘Palengat’ is a stunning new wine by Quilceda Creek. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (97%) from Champoux, and Mach One Vineyards, with the Cabernet Franc (3%) from the Palengat Vineyard, this shows lovely non-fruit character on the nose with tar and chocolate covered espresso bean tones that mingle with the deep blue fruits and florals on this exotic bouquet. The palate is deep and voluptuous showing an insanely good texture and richness, yet not coming off overly heavy. A very light dusting of salinity adds to the complexity. The pillowy texture is gorgeous as layers of blueberry compote and creosote are woven together with graphite, sagebrush and blackberry pie on the palate. This is quite simply the best ‘Palengat’ I have tried since they began making this wine in 2006. Drink 2020-2036- 96

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