“Galitzine” Cabernet Sauvignon
We had a cool spring and summer in the Red Mountain AVA but things warmed up evenly in the fall. The vineyards achieved full phenolic ripeness and our winemaking team was given some extraordinary fruit to work with. Quantities were a little lower, but the wines were excellent.
Our 2011 Quilceda Creek Galitzine Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon went into the bottle with an incredible depth of aroma and flavor, and it has grown in complexity and become even more integrated over the past decade. Sensations of raspberry, cassis, anise, cocoa nibs, espresso, and cinnamon define this wine, a bottling that has become known for its richness and intensity. Aged in 100 percent new French oak for 21 months, the wine is made of 95 percent Cabernet Sauvignon from Galitzine Vineyard and 5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon from the Palengat Vineyard, adding even more complexity and aromatic lift. This vintage has always shown a little softer than the 2010 but that’s just the difference of the growing conditions, not a lack of power or structure. It will drink well through 2030 or longer.
Paul Golitzin, Director of Winemaking
"The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard comes all from the Golitzin's Red Mountain vineyard and is almost all Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the richest and most concentrated wines in the vintage, it offer fabulous creme de cassis, black raspberry, graphite, toast and licorice aromas and flavors to go with a full-bodied, seamless and beautifully balanced profile on the palate. As expected, it doesn't have the sheer wealth of material that's present in the prior vintages, yet everything is perfectly proportioned, it has excellent mid-palate depth and notable, sweet tannin. It benefits from a decant and will have upwards of 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 crème de la crème 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." Drink: 2014 - 2034.