Paul Golitzin, director of winemaking, stands among barrels of wine at Quilceda Creek Winery on Thursday, Jan. 5, in Snohomish. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Paul Golitzin, director of winemaking, stands among barrels of wine at Quilceda Creek Winery on Thursday, Jan. 5, in Snohomish. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Snohomish’s Quilceda Creek winery among best in nation

By Owen Bargreen

Special to The Herald

SNOHOMISH—One of the premier producers of cabernet in the world is right here in Snohomish County.

Quilceda Creek has achieved more perfect 100-point scores for its cabernet sauvignon from leading U.S. wine critic Robert Parker than any other North American winery.

In addition to its Robert Parker scores, the Snohomish winery was recognized with the Washington Wine Blog’s inaugural Winery of the Year award.

Quilceda Creek was founded in 1979 by Alex and Jeanette Golitzin. In 1993, their son, Paul, took over as head winemaker and has become a superstar in the wine world. Paul Golitzin’s expertise shows in every glass.

Following the highly impressive 2012 Columbia Valley Cabernet, which was the WWB’s 2015 Wine of the Year (as well as the runner-up for Wine Spectator magazine’s Wine of the Year), this year’s No. 2 WWB Wine of the Year is the 2013 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet.

It is hard to explain the level of complexity and richness to the 2013 vintage — but as indescribable as it is, it is a deliciously memorable wine that Golitzin and his winemaking team should be very proud of. (Although, it should be cellared for at least another two years.)

Similarly stunning, the 2013 Quilceda Creek Golitzin Vineyard Cabernet stands neck-and-neck with its Columbia Valley bottling and rivals the best cabernet in North America.

Quilceda Creek sources its grapes from six of the best Eastern Washington vineyards, including the Champoux Vineyard.

Paul Champoux, for whom the vineyard is named, retired in 2014 as an owner and put the vineyard up for sale. The vineyard is now owned and run by a consortium of partners, including Quilceda Creek.

With 66 percent of the vineyard under Quilceda Creek control, the quality of fruit growing there has noticeably increased. I have especially noticed the improved flavors of its collection of “Galitzine Vineyard” cabernets in the last few years.

The Champoux Vineyard is just 5 miles from the Columbia River in the Horse Heaven Hills. The 175-acre vineyard was first planted in 1972 and the average age of its vines, including high density plantings of cabernet, is 30 years old.

Golitzin travels to the vineyard regularly to check how the flavors are developing as the grapes ripen. Under his careful watch, the winery is able to harvest the most delicious of the fruit for its wines.

As Quilceda Creek receives some of the highest reviews and awards for its cabernet sauvignon of any wine producer in the U.S., there’s no doubt Golitzin picks the best.

Owen Bargreen is the founder and executive editor of Washington Wine Blog. Read the blog at www.washingtonwineblog.com.

If you go

Quilceda Creek Vintners

Address: 11306 52nd St. SE, Snohomish

Website: www.quilcedacreek.com

Phone: 360-568-2389

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