Alex and Paul Golitzin. Photo by Marla Norman.
As we tour his beautifully-designed, spotlessly clean 11,500 square-foot winery in Snohomish, Golitzin points out the efficiencies of the tanks, which he developed and produced.
“Your engineering background has been an instrumental part of your success, hasn’t it?” I ask.
“You know, “he says, smiling, in an unusually animated moment, “one of the things I love the most about winemaking is that it’s a mix of everything I enjoy, from engineering and cultivation, to aesthetics and the arts. It’s truly a little of everything.”
“Were you surprised when you received your first 100-point rating?”
“Not really. We’d come very close on several occasions. But it was great, no denying that.” Golitzin smiles again at the recollection.
“And what are your expectations of a 100-point wine?”
Golitzin ponders a second, then responds, “Obviously the wine should reflect the flavor profiles for the varietal it represents. It should have good structure, integration, silky texture and finesse. I also believe that a 100-point wine should be able to stand on its own. It doesn’t depend on food.”
“And what are a few of your favorite wines, 100-point or otherwise?”
“The ’82 Château Pichon-Lalande really opened my eyes. It was an epiphany,” Golitzin says emphatically. “The ’90 Château Montrose is another favorite. In general, I love Bordeaux. It’s just, as I always say, that at my age I can’t wait for some of the younger vintages to mature.”
“One of my favorite grapes is Grenache,” he adds. “It’s what I enjoy the most about Châteauneuf-du-Pape.”
“What about your own wines? Which of the Quilceda Creek are your favorites?”
“2002 because it was the first to get a 100-point rating. But I also think it’s a fantastic vintage. I’m fond of 2005 and 2007 as well.”
“Any other favorite wineries here in the states?”
“Definitely! Our neighbor DeLille makes exceptional wines. I always order Chaleur Blanc – a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
“You mentioned the fact that you can’t wait for Bordeaux wines to age. What about Quilceda Creek?”
“Our earliest wines, dating from the Seventies, are still quite alive and doing well. Our wines can age for 20-30 years with no problem. Certainly they’re enjoyable now.”
As proof – not that there was any doubt – Golitzin pours the 2011 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is a heady mix of berries, anise, black walnut and forest floor. The taste is silky and rich with a long, lingering finish.
“This 2011 is 100% Cabernet, with 95% from your Champoux Vineyard and 5% from your Palengat Vineyard. How do you determine that kind of mix?”
“Paul uses the Palengat grapes to add something exotic,” Golitzin responds, referring to his son, who assumed winemaking responsibilities in 1992. Golitzin is effusive in his praise of Paul. “He’s brilliant and he has an incredible palate. I’m lucky he loves winemaking.” He tilts the bottle to show off the striking Quilceda Creek label – a moonlit landscape. “Paul also designed our logo. The bottles are etched in gold.”
“Having the family involved in the business is ideal.” Golitzin says, gazing out at his winery. “We have six granddaughters. I have no idea at this point what they will do. But my hope is that 600 years from now, someone from the family is still managing the company.”
Given the family history and winemaking DNA, that would be a formidable legacy indeed. Here’s to a Golitzin dynasty at Quilceda Creek!
We’re proud to offer these highly-rated Quilceda Creek and California wines. Call 850-687-1370 or write [email protected]
2014 Quilceda Creek Palengat. RP 96. $129.99. 12 bottles available.
2014 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Columbia Valley. RP 100. WE Top 100 of 2017, Cellar Selection. $189.99. 22 bottles available.
2013 Quilceda Creek “CVR” Bordeaux Blend. RP 92. $57.99. 24 bottles available.
2012 Quilceda Creek “CVR” Bordeaux Blend. RP 93. $59.99. 8 bottles available.
2012 Liparita Cabernet Sauvignon. WE 95. $44.99. 7 bottles available. Priced at $60.00+ elsewhere.
2010 Gemstone Estate Red. RP 93. $44.99. 10 bottles available. Priced at $70+ elsewhere.
Cult American Wines
2010 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon. RP 95. $119.99. Only 1 bottle left! Priced $150+ elsewhere.
2000 Schrader “Beckstoffer Original To Kalon. ST 91. $269.99. 3 bottles available.
2000 Abreu Madrona Ranch. RP 92. $169.99. 3 bottles available.
2007 Dana Lotus. RP 100. $829.99. Only 2 bottles left! Priced at $999+ elsewhere.
2010 Scarecrow. RP 98. $499.99. Only 1 bottle left! Priced at $570+ elsewhere.
And a Special Treat **** Rare Italian Wines on Close-Out
2009 Massolino Parafada. RP 94. $69.99. 9 bottles available.
2012 Biondi Santi Greppo Brunello di Montalcino Annata. Vinous 94. $159.99. 6 bottles available.
2009 Dal Forno Valpolicella Romano. AG 92. $77.99. 6 bottles available.
Sweetest deal of them all!!!
1976 Niepoort Colheita Tawny Port. $99.99. 4 bottles available.