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Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP96
  • WS94
0% ABV
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Try the 1999 Vintage 199 97
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Winemaker Notes

The 1998 vintage was the sixth hottest in the 46 years that records have been kept in eastern Washington. This resulted in ultra ripe fruit with fully ripe soft tannins and full fruit expression. In spite of excellent grapes we still declassified 30% of the vintage into a red table wine in order to maximize the quality of Quilceda Creek's Cabernet Sauvignon.

Blend: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Blackberry jam, juniper berries, and spices can be found in the rich aromatics of the stunning, dark-colored 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon. A wine of awesome breadth, width, concentration, and power, this full-bodied beauty is crammed with lush layers of blackberries, plums, and cassis. This offering's prodigious fruit envelopes its copious silky tannin. Additionally, it displays an extraordinarily long finish.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Dense, deep and powerful, a many-layered red that piles on its rich currant, plum, black cherry and peppery spice flavors, finishing with touches of cedar and mint. A glorious, cellar-worthy Cabernet with plenty of superrefined tannins.
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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.

JCL137005_1998 Item# 137005