The 2003 vintage resulted in wines that have stunning aromas, flavors and texture. Violets, black-cherry and blackberry coat the palate, layering complex notes of Vahlrhona chocolate, wood-smoke and Asian spice. This wine will mature nicely over the next 7 to 8 years and continue to age gracefully for at least another 10-20 years.
International Wine Cellar Review
"Full ruby-red. Knockout nose combines blackcurrant, blueberry, smoke, tobacco, road tar, coffee and milk chocolate. Wonderfully ripe and lush but uncompromisingly dry, with an exhilarating underlying minerality and superb lift to its fruit and torrefaction flavors. Full and complete, finishing with outstanding breadth and lingering sweetness. Paul Golitzin notes that tannin management at Quilceda Creek is far more sophisticated today than it was in the mid-90’s."
Score: 93-96 pts
Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar Nov/Dec 05
Wine Advocate Review
"Seemingly unsatisfied with receiving the first perfect score I’ve attributed to a young red wine in these pages, the Golitzin family went for broke, earning two. Alex Golitzin and his son Paul, both obsessive about quality, have worked together for years to maximize fruit flavors and minimize harsh tannins. Their work has been on two fronts. 1.) the vineyards, where their demands, meticulousness, and obsession with late harvests has driven growers crazy (yet, in retrospect, the farmers are grateful); and 2.) the winery, where they have experimented with every conceivable process to further their goals. Soaking and vinifying at precise temperatures (they tape over the gauges lest visitors learn their closely guarded secrets) to draw out flavor and only the sweetest tannin, the Golitzins have gone further, inventing a system utilizing air to break and sink their caps in a much more gentle way than pump-overs (remontages) and punch-downs (pigeages) would ever allow."
"Years ago, Robert M. Parker, Jr. wrote that Quilceda Creek was one of the world’s finest sources of Cabernet Sauvignon. Over the past decade, I’ve chimed in that there isn’t a Cabernet producer with this winery’s track record for consistency. Now, Quilceda Creek has produced two wines that are second to none."
"Darker colored and significantly more powerful, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon displays mouth-watering aromatics of black chocolate, sage, and blackberry liqueur. Its awe-inspiring core of cassis liqueur, violets, blueberry nectar, black cherry syrup, and chocolate is immensely muscular yet elegant. Texturally reminiscent of liquid velvet, it slathers the palate with oodles of fruit, displaying unreal depth, balance, and length. Wow! Projected maturity: 2010-2024. Congratulations Alex and Paul, welcome to the big leagues."
Score: 100 pts
Pierre-Antoine Rovani, Wine Advocate, Issue 164, closing date 4-24-06
Wine Advocate Review
"Another wine I've had multiple times recently, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot) is pure perfection in a glass and yields off-the-hook aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, tobacco leaf, pepper and licorice. Deep, layered and even elegant, with a seamless texture that conceals the sheer wealth of material present, it builds through the mid-palate, possesses huge amounts of extract and masses of polished tannin on the finish. Despite the overall size, it never loses its Cabernet Sauvignon soul and has an almost Bordeaux-like savoriness and tannic frame. Still young (yet gorgeous nonetheless), it can be enjoyed now or cellared for another 10-15+ years." Drink now-2028.
Score: 100 pts
Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, #207, June 2013
Wine Spectator Review
"As this Cabernet specialist refines its style, the wines are becoming polished and seductive without losing their richly layered flavors. It has gorgeous, focused currant, plum and blackberry fruit, shaded with touches of dusky spice and smoky notes from oak, but it’s almost subliminal to the harmonious, seamless fruit character. The wine glides over the palate, submerging its tannins to let the flavors soar. Best from 2008 through 2020."
Score: 95 pts
Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator Insider April 19, 2006