Sunday, June 4, 2023

Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Red Wine Bordeaux Blend 2006

Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Red Wine Bordeaux Blend and Carpenter Creek Cellars Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel with BBQ beef brisket and chocolate finisher

Dearest friends, 'brother' Bob and Gloria were in town from South Florida and we hosted them for an informal dinner on the deck, of beef brisket and red wines. 

I pulled from the cellar this Columbia Valley Bordeaux Blend that proved to be a perfect pairing. This is a wine that we enjoyed together at the Delray Beach Wine Room Kitchen Wine and Cheese Bar during a visit to South Florida - Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Red Wine. The Wine Room Kitchen Wine and Cheese Bar in Delray Beach boast to have "The World's Largest Selection of Wine by the Glass!

This is from Quilceda Creek, one of the top producers in Washington State. (Check out the absolutely breathtaking video of their vineyards on their website.) The current winery was founded by Alex Golitzin in 1978, nephew of the legendary wine pioneer André Tchelistcheff, the first vintage was produced in 1979. Quilceda Creek has a long history dating back to the late 1800's and was Washington State’s 12th bonded winery after Prohibition.

Today, Quilceda Creek produce world class Cabernet Sauvignons from five vineyards in the notable Horse Heaven Hills and Red Mountain American Viticultural Areas (AVA) in the Columbia River Valley in Central Washington State. Their 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.

Paul Golitzin, Alex and Jeannette Golitzin’s son serves as President and Winemaker overseeing all aspects of winemaking and vineyard operations. Paul grew up at the winery and learned the craft of winemaking from his father, Alex, and his great uncle, André Tchelistcheff.

The legendary Andre Tchelistcheff became one of the most influential and accomplished figures in the American Wine Industry. While studying at French National Agronomy Institute and doing research at the Pasteur Institute, he was introduced in 1938 to Beaulieu Vineyards (BV) founder and owner Georges de Latour. Tchelistcheff had offers from winemakers worldwide but agreed to join Beaulieu Vineyard in Napa Valley as BV's vice president and chief winemaker.

Tchelistcheff defined the style for high-quality California Cabernet Sauvignon, and created the "Georges de Latour Private Reserve" label. He crafted many techniques of modern winemaking and introduced new procedures such as aging wine in small French Oak barrels, cold fermentation, vineyard frost protection, malolactic fermentation, and he was instrumental in helping develop the winemaking regions in Carneros, California, Oregon and Washington.

Tchelistcheff  remained vice president of Beaulieu Vineyards until his retirement in 1973 and went on to become consulting enologist to some of the biggest names in American wines such as Jordan Vineyard & Winery  beginning with its inaugural 1976 vintage. He also consulted to Joseph Heitz, Mike Grgich, Joel Aiken, Neibaum/Coppola, Buena Vista Winery, George & Peter Rubissow, Erath Winery, Sequoia Grove, Chateau Ste. Michelle, and Columbia Crest Winery. 

While consulting for Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington, Tchelistcheff advised Mike McGrath in 1991 from Conn Creek Winery with the Anthology "Bordeaux Blend" program. There he also gave winemaking advice to his nephew, Alex Golitzin who went on to found Quilceda Creek Winery in with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon. Tchelistcheff was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America's Vintner's Hall of Fame in 2007.

Under the tutelage and mentoring of Tchelistcheff and his father, Alex Golitzin, the handicraft of Paul Golitzin and Quilceda Creek has become internationally recognized for it's world class Cabernet Sauvignon and has been awarded ten 100-point scores from leading critics.

Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Red Wine Bordeaux Blend 2006

This is the baby second wine to the ultr-premium Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignons. It is produced from declassified fruit as an introduction to Quilceda Creek’s brand, and intended to be enjoyed in its youth providing early drinking gratification. While not at the quality level of the top wines, it is a fair introduction to the house style at a fraction of the price providing a decent QPR - Quality Price Ratio. (The ultra-premium big brother flagship 2006 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded 99 points by Decanter, 98 points by Wine Enthusiast, and 96 points by Wine Advocate.)

The 2006 vintage release Columbia Valley Red was sourced from grapes from the Champoux, Ciel du Cheval, Galitzine, Klipsun, and Tapteil Vineyards and aged the wine in French oak, much of it new, for 22 months. 
This is a classic sophisticated Bordeaux Blend comprised of 77 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec. 2200 cases were produced.
Winemaker notes - "It’s a very traditional Bordeaux style combination, and while you may not be able to pick out the individual varietal components, you’d notice their absence if they were missing. We make this wine for our clients’ enjoyment on the early side, and while it is medium bodied compared with the heft of our other wines, it does not lack for complexity and fullness. On release it displayed notes of black cherry fruit, cedar, spice, vanilla, and a hint of savory minerality. It was approachable then, with at least 15 years ahead of it.' 


We then pulled from the cellar and tasted this unique Carpenter Creek Cellars Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel. As I wrote in an earlier post about this was a huge hit pairing it with barbecue pork and Baby Ray's barbecue sauce. Tonight proved to be the case as well, pairing this wine with the beef brisket, and then as much so, with the chocolate cake with caramel drizzle and fresh berries for dessert. Wow! Once again, the combination of the two, each perfectly accenting and highlighting the other, was delightful for a sensational sensory experience! 

Carpenter Creek Cellars Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel 2017

Another reason for the appropriateness of this wine tonight is that we're all fellow Indiana Hoosiers. Bob is from Indiana and indeed we met as Fraternity Brothers at Indiana University. 

Hence, I pulled this Carpenter Creek Cellars from north central Indiana which was featured in an earlier post in these pages when we visited the winery and discovered their wines. They acquire grapes from growers throughout the midwest, California, and also grow some of their own. 

For this Zinfandel varietal selection, they obtained grapes from northern California sources, and aged the wine in used Bourbon Barrels. The result was infusing an exotic smokiness and liquor layer that when combined with the full forward Zinfandel fruits accentuated and highlighted the tangy barbecue wonderfully. 

Linda stopped in at Carpenter Creek during her visit with out of state family a while back and tasted and picked up a couple bottles of this label. We liked it and hence picked up some more when they re-released the label.

This label release from Carpenter Creek Cellars features a striking gold label packaging, the first indication that there is something special going on here.

Garnet colored, slightly opaque, medium-full-bodied, black fruits accented by clove spice, smoke, caramel, vanilla, and hints of black pepper and cocoa. An nice pairing with with BBQ and chocolate.

RM 91 points.