#98 Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Cellar Selection Wines of 2020
The 2017 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley showcases the singular and elusive perfume of Champoux Vineyard at its very best. Aromas and flavors of violets, lavender, blackberry, cassis, and plum fruit can be found in the wine with nuances of cocoa nib, spice, and minerals. The ethereal, silky texture allows the rich fruit to coat the palate in a horizontal fashion, allowing the taster to experience the purity and seamless integration of all its elements in wonderful harmony.
JD 97 pt
The flagship 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley is all Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in new barrels (mostly Taransaud and Darnajou). Beautiful crème de cassis, graphite, spice box, and lead pencil notes all flow to a full-bodied, soft, elegant wine that has beautiful tannins, no hard edges, and a seamless texture. It shows the more upfront, charming style of the vintage and is already hard to resist. Nevertheless, it should easily evolve for 20+ years.
JS 97 pt
Really juicy and savory at the moment with beautiful freshness and linear tightness that frames the wine. It’s full and flavorful with currants, coffee and walnuts. Mahogany, too. The tannins are polished and spread across the palate. Accessible and hard not to drink now, but will age wonderfully, too.
WE 96 pt
This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, with fruit coming from Horse Heaven Hills sites Champoux, Lake Wallula, Palengat, and Wallula. It’s aromatically brooding out of the gate, with notes of cherry meats, barrel spice and incense, not yet ready to reveal its charms. Dense, focused, layered, almost creamy-feeling fruit flavors follow. It is coiled up tightly right now but has all of the stuffing to go the distance and then some. Best from 2030–2037.
RP 96 pt
Revisiting the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon at a year on, the wine remains bold and structured and has had a bit more time to come together and harmonize. The wine remains generous on the nose with sweetness of fruit and a glossy character, which offers chocolaty undertones in the glass with aromas of lavender and black cherry that are still persistent on the nose. Full-bodied, the tannins are beginning to round with an additional year in bottle. At the same time, the palate offers layers of dusty blackberry essence and juicy plums with elegant baking spices from the 100% new French oak aging before ending with a rich, juicy and intense finish. The original score and drink date still stand.
V 96 pt
Bright medium ruby to the rim. Very ripe aromas of blackberry, cassis, licorice pastille, bitter chocolate, cocoa powder and minerals, lifted by a note of lavender; just this side of liqueur-like. Dense, sweet, silky and firm, with wonderfully suave, dense flavors of dark berries, bitter chocolate and violet dominating. This savory wine finishes with a slowly building whiplash of flavor and the sophisticated seamless tannins to support a long evolution and graceful evolution in bottle. I still give the edge to the 2016 for its energy and lift, but this very deep, youthfully medicinal wine is potentially great as well. Real nobility of texture here (it saturates every square millimeter of the palate) and outstanding palate-staining length. Lots to come!
CG 95 pt
Long and very justifiably regarded as one of Washington State’s preeminent producers of fine Cabernets, Quilceda Creek has come up with a striking trio in 2017. This one stands out as being the best of a remarkable bunch and marries richness with real finesse in its riveting presentation of extraordinarily deep and beautifully defined varietal fruit. Optimally ripe and decked out with lovely oak, the wine is a class act with tremendous aging potential, and, if already fascinating, it is a highly collectable, cellarworthy working that is guaranteed to pay big dividends with a decade or more of patience.
W&S 94 pt
Quilceda Creek’s flagship cabernet, this is a blend of four vineyards, including estate fruit from Palengat and Champoux, in the Horse Heaven Hills. It’s seamless, balanced and exceedingly well tailored, the scents of tar, tanbark and briar set against bright red fruit in a firm, sinewy package. A wine for lamb.
Established in 1978 by Alex and Jeannette Golitzin with the first vintage produced in 1979, Quilceda Creek is Washington State’s 12th bonded winery after Prohibition, but the family’s storied history with winemaking dates back to the late 1800s. Family owned and operated and one of Washington State’s premier wineries, Quilceda Creek has dedicated itself to producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines of Quilceda Creek have been an expression of five vineyards in the coveted Horse Heaven Hills and Red Mountain American Viticultural Areas (AVA). Champoux Vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in Washington State and the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown there have produced five of Quilceda Creek’s perfect 100-point wines. Grapes for the sixth 100-point wine were sourced from Galitzine Vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA. Today, Paul Golitzin oversees all aspects of winemaking and vineyard operations, pursuing the same standard of excellence that brought Quilceda Creek to world prominence.
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