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Spotlight On: Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

John Siudut
Posted: May 24, 2007

When Wine Spectator began following Quilceda Creek Cabernet's results at auctions in the first quarter of 2005, the prices tracked sideways for the first year and even dropped in value during the fourth quarter of 2005, perhaps due to an influx of bottles on the market in the third quarter. Since that small stumble, prices have risen steadily in value by 60 percent over the past 18 months. Demand is so strong that the index of average prices for the Quilceda Creek Cabernet has recently surpassed the index for Cult Cabernets, indicating a faster rate of increasing value.

Before all the commotion about high quality Cabernet from Washington, Quilceda Creek's Cabernet Sauvignon was already the state's iconic wine. Recent winemaking changes, including new sources for grapes and fermentation techniques that reduce tannins have helped to improve its already solid reputation with the past two vintages (2003 and 2004) scoring in the classic range (95 points, $85 and 95, $100, respectively).

Despite rising production numbers, Quilceda Creek is typically hard to find in the retail environment because so much is allocated to preferred customers. This often leaves the auction market as one of the only places for a collector to buy this much-coveted wine. With the 2003 vintage already selling in the $300 range at auctions, those in the market for Quilceda Cabernet would be wise to pick up the 2004 where they can find it. Otherwise they may find themselves paying more down the road or even end up empty handed.

This data comes from the Wine Spectator Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions. The prices are indexed to 100 beginning in the first quarter of 2005. This chart plots the index value of Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon from vintages 1993-2003 against the index value of the Cult Cabernets from the same vintages.

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