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2011 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

2011 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

Paul Golitzin, Director of Winemaking, comments:

The 2011 growing season featured a cool spring and summer followed by a warm fall. This allowed for vineyards to achieve full physiological maturity. Quantities offered for purchase this year are significantly reduced due to the freeze damage that occurred in late 2010 at Champoux Vineyard. This did not affect quality, only quantity.

The 2011 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley is a very rich, ripe and concentrated wine with a liqueur-like texture and weight. Seemingly endless waves of blackberry, blueberry, cassis and plum fruit coat the entire palate with nuances of violets, Asian soy, smoke, cedar, vanilla, minerals and black tea. The amazingly long finish lasts for over a minute on the palate. This classic wine should age effortlessly for 20+ years. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Vintage Notes

Varietal:

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Vineyards:

Champoux, Klipsun, Palengat, Taptiel, and Wallula

Barrels:

100% New French Oak

Time in Barrel:

22 Months

Bottled:

August 2013

Wine Advocate Review

More serious, and one of the wines of the vintage, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) has uncommon concentration and depth in the vintage, as well as a broad, structured profile that will allow it to age gracefully. Loaded with sweet crème de cassis, exotic spice, licorice and graphite, it's a full-bodied, elegant and classically styled effort that has nothing out of place, fine, building tannin and a rock star finish. It will be approachable at an earlier stage than most vintages, yet still have 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 creme de la creme 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.
Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, #213, June 2014

Score: 96 Pts.