2018 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon


There are very few wines that I personally seek out year after year. For a wine to become a recurring purchase for my cellar, it takes a proven track record, unparalleled quality among peers, vintage-to-vintage consistency and relative value. The Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon is such a wine, even with a steady price increase over the past ten years. Labeled simply with the Columbia Valley AVA, this dark beauty actually hails from two vineyards, both located in the more-defined Horse Heaven Hills AVA within Columbia Valley. Ninety percent of the blend is sourced from the highly regarded Champoux vineyard, with the 10% balance coming from the Mach One vineyard that sits 50 feet up on a plateau above the Columbia River. The 2018 is a gorgeous expression of the vintage, showing radiance mixed with fruit intensity and energy that will promise two decades or more of pleasurable evolution. 

World-class by any definition, the 2018 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon makes a strong statement for Washington state and the vintage itself. It is captivating and exotic from the first tilt of the glass; a dusting of crushed violet mints gives way to vivid blackberry accentuated by dried citrus peels, steeped ginger tea and rosy dark chocolate. This radiant beauty impresses further with seamlessly silken textures. Stimulating acidity dazzles the senses, adding both verve and a mid-weight spiciness to the mix, while keeping things wonderfully fresh despite the masses of mineral-inflected black fruits within. The finish goes on and on, as silky tannins frame the wine without hindering its momentum. Currants, blueberry and hints of graphite keep me coming back to the glass for more. Readers can enjoy the 2018 now with a good decant; however, having followed this for over 24 hours, I am sure that the best is yet to come. The 2018 is a towering effort, that also marks the 40th vintage of Quilceda Creek’s Cabernet Sauvignon. 98/Drink 2024-2040.

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