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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2002

Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP100
  • WE97
  • WS93
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2003 vintage of this wine was ranked #2 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2006

This wine presents a delicate balance of power versus finesse showcasing nuances of lilac, sweet dark fruits, smoke, and Asian spices. We worked very hard to make this wine rival or surpass our 2001 Cabernet. By rigorously applying the finest viticultural practices to the vineyard, meticulously selecting the best fruit, and integrating these ingredients with gentle fruit handling we arrived at this classic, age worthy wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Unlike some minuscule production “cult” wines or luxury cuvees culled from a winery’s primary product that have earned perfect scores over the years, Quilceda Creek’s Cabernet Sauvignon is the winery’s raison d’etre and is produced in significant quantities (3,400 cases in 2002, 3,425 in 2003). For accomplishing this feat the Golitzens should be doubly proud. Dark ruby-colored and sporting a nose of violets, sweet blueberries, dark cherries, and slight undertones of asphalt, the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon blossoms on the palate to expose a wine of ethereal delicacy yet immense power. Medium to full-bodied, it expands to reveal concentrated layers of cassis, blackberries, red cherries, raspberries, violets, spices, and touches of candied plums. This rich, exquisitely balanced, sweet, and broad wine is harmonious, graceful, and awesomely long. Projected maturity: now-2022.
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
Amazing density; the aromas billow up from the glass and weave together sinuously, taking you on a magic carpet ride before the wine even hits your mouth. This wine has the power of a monster California Cab while retaining the subtlety of a first-growth Bordeaux. It is just a massive blast of dark fruit, incredible viscosity, silky textures and soft herbs, pepper and spice. The oak—all new, all French—is unobtrusive and perfectly integrated.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Firm and taut, with dusky spice and freshly ground pepper nuances to the dark berry, currant and cherry aromas and flavors, lingering impressively on the chewy finish. Doesn't have the pure fruit of previous vintages, but it should soften and broaden, developing more depth with cellaring.
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Quilceda Creek

Quilceda Creek Vintners

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Quilceda Creek Vintners, Columbia Valley, Washington
Quilceda Creek is dedicated exclusively to the production of world-class Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon. Founded in 1979, Quilceda Creek has had an unbroken string of highly-rated vintages that has led Robert Parker, Jr. to name it Washington State's premeir Cabernet Sauvignon producer.

"Quilceda Creek...makes Cabernet of unrivaled finesse. This small winery...has the best track record of any Washington winery...No other Washington Cabernet is as graceful yet profound."
Matt Kramer
The L.A. Times

"Make no mistake about the Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignons - they are world-class Cabernets that compete with the finest wines from Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Sonoma and Santa Cruz Mountains."
Robert M. Parker Jr.'s
The Wine Advocate

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

JCL118118_2002 Item# 118118