Reminder No. 1: Voting on the final round of the Reader Survey continues until Wednesday at 9pm. Read more about the survey here. Reminder No. 2: December’s Virtual Tasting is the 2007 Brian Carter Cellars Abracadabra and takes place on Monday December 21st. Read more about it here.

Quilceda Creek Vintners announced that sales of the 2007 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will begin in early January for mailing list members. The wine will be released in Spring 2010. The Columbia Valley Cabernet is Quilceda Creek’s flagship wine and has received ratings of 99 to 100 points in Wine Advocate in each of the last five vintages.

Of note, Quilceda Creek will be holding the price of this wine at $125 for the 2007 vintage, the same price as the 2006 vintage. Quilceda Creek had increased the price $10 for the 2006 vintage and $15 for the 2004 and 2005 vintages. The last time Quilceda Creek maintained its price was for the 2001 to 2003 vintages when the wine was $85. The decision to maintain the price of the 2007 vintage is another reflection of the effect of the economy on the wine industry, even on high-end, highly sought after wines.

Quilceda Creek also announced that they will be discontinuing production of varietal Merlot. The winery first made a varietal bottling of Merlot in 1993 and then continued Merlot production from 1997 to 2006, skipping the 2001 vintage. Regarding the decision, the winery writes “In order to make the best wine possible, it (the Merlot) is now an integral part of our “Palengat” proprietary blend.” The 2007 Palengat Cabernet will be released in the Fall.

The decision to discontinue Merlot production seems a shame as this has been an exceptional wine from this winery. That said, Quilceda Creek is clearly a Cabernet-focused winery, and this decision increases that focus.

See a review of Quilceda Creek’s 2006 Cabernets here.