Quilceda Creek has been making wine since 1979. However, it wasn’t until 2003 that they achieved wine superstardom with a #2 rating in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year and a (second) 100 point rating in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. These are wines that do not make it to the stores. They are allocated by mail order on a list so long you can add your name so your children might get some.

April 19th 2008 marked the release of their 2005 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a pre-release sample of their 2005 Red Wine. It also marked a rare opportunity, thanks to the generosity of Bill Kauffman, to taste a vertical of their Red Wines, topped by a 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Superlatives do not adequately describe these wines. The Red Wine, a fraction of the price of the Cabernet, is nothing short of stunning. Quilceda Creek sources its fruit from the famed Red Mountain. While Red Mountain is known for an earthy terroir mixed with subtle floral notes, it is the inky color and muscular tannins of these wines that typically distinguishes them. Quilceda Creek however has managed to take these often unwieldy grapes and craft them into wines that express a surprising balance of boldness and elegance. Alex and Paul Golitzin are not just making the best wine in Washington state. They are in a class by themselves.


Score Name Notes $


Quilceda Creek 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Tar. Rich black fruit. Cracked black pepper. A little dark chocolate and truffles. More earthy than the 2005 Red Wine. Again, a superb nose. An exceptional, lithe body with an extended finish. More refined than the red, especially on the tannins. More medium-bodied. Light toast.


Quilceda Creek 2005 Red Wine Tar. Smoke. Blackberry. Black pepper. A slight earthiness. Light oak notes. Lots of spice. Vanilla. Cassis. Quite a lively nose. A big, full-bodied, rich wine. Smooth tannins coat the tongue. Excellent mid-palate with a beautiful finish. Nothing short of a stunning wine. Best wine I have had in a while. To be released in the fall.


Quilceda Creek 2004 Red Wine Smoky. Black pepper. Floral. Earthy. Dark fruit and sweet spices. Blackberry. A little coffee. A big, rich nose. Excellently put together. A good mid-palate and finish. A very complex wine.


Quilceda Creek 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Earthy. Black pepper. Sweet spice. Quite different than the others, although still similar in style. Cassis. Violets. More subtle on the nose. One of the most elegant and refined wines I have ever had. Beautifully smooth. Blackberry. Touches of blueberry. Sweet oak aromas. The tannins could not be better integrated. Rich and dusky. Mocha. Wow!


Quilceda Creek 2003 Red Wine Earthy. Black pepper. Rich, dark spices. Floral. A little minerality. Stone. Coffee. A big nose. A good medium-bodied to full wine. An excellent mid-palate that moves slowly to a long, long finish. A very, very good wine. A little less on the body than the 2004 and 2005. $35