2017 Quilceda Creek, Columbia Valley Red, $65
Winery info: As always, Quilceda Creek hardly needs any introduction. Founded in Snohomish in 1979 by Alex and Jeannette Golitzin, their goal from the start has been to craft world class Washington Cabernet. Over the years they have produced some of the most highly acclaimed and award-winning wines in the state. The Wine Advocate named Quilceda Creek the best Washington State Winery for 2017, and has awarded their Cabernet a remarkable total of six 100-point ratings over the last 13 vintages. Their Columbia Valley Red, or “CVR,” is a blend from all their vineyard sites and represents a great value from such an elite producer.
Winemaker: Paul Golitzin is director of winemaking.
Grapes: 96% Cab Sauv, 3% Merlot, 1% Cab Franc, aged in 100% French oak
Vineyard source: Champoux, Galitzine, Palengat, and Wallula Vineyards
Flavor profile: Paul describes this vintage as full of lush red and blue fruits, with nuances of star anise, smoke, cedar, and minerals. Year after year, it is a stunningly complex, refined, and expressive wine.
Production/Availability: Although very allocated, we should be able to get more for the foreseeable future.
Drinkability: Enjoy now, or over the next eight years or so.
Food Pairing: Great with beef tenderloin, braised lamb, grilled meats or other hearty fare.
2014 Ashton Troy, Syrah, $28
Winery info: Former dentist Kit Singh studied at UC Davis and then interned at DeLille before founding his own winery, Lauren Ashton (named his for his children, Lauren and Ashton) in Woodinville in 2009. Since then Lauren Ashton has gained a reputation as one of the state’s most exciting new wineries, thanks to Kit’s skill, meticulous attention to detail, and passion as a winemaker. We are longtime fans of his wines, a number of which have appeared in this club over the years. We recently discovered that he has created another, more affordable line (named for his son Ashton, who wanted his own label.) These wines represent the same skillful winemaking as Kit’s higher end offerings. He describes them as playful and full of energy and warmth—like his son.
Winemaker: Kit Singh
Grapes: 100% Syrah, fermented in neutral French oak and aged 28 months before bottling.
Vineyard source: Ambassador and Dineen Vineyards in the Columbia Valley AVA
Flavor profile: Full bodied and complex, with aromas and flavors of black pepper, wild berries, coffee and herbs. With nice earthy minerality and supple tannins.
Production/Availability: This wine is still in decent supply at the moment.
Drinkability: Approachable now, or you could let it develop for another five or six years.
Food Pairing: The winery suggests pairing it with garlicky lamb, or sausages and grilled meats alongside asparagus, mushrooms, and potatoes.