Quilceda vs. Bordeaux?

Hi all,

First post on WB. I joined the waiting list for Quilceda a few years ago and finally got an an offer for their 2018 Cabernet at $145 before shipping. I’ve never had one but understand that they’re excellent. But for about that kind of money, you could get a very nice Margaux or Pauillac. Is Quilceda really that good and worthwhile? And for those of you who have great experiences with them, are there situations or food pairings when you’d reach for a Quilceda cab before a Bordeaux? Many thanks in advance for your guidance and opinions.



I have a decent amount of Quilceda in my cellar. I’d rather have Bordeaux.


Quilceda is biggie big WA cab
If u like other biggie big WA cabs you will like quilceda.
It’s got lots of fruit and flavor and intensity.

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Quilceda was good 2000 and prior. I am a huge Washington State fan but Quilceda is way down on the list. Over the top style.


I prefer Bordeaux too, although Quilceeda can be excellent in very small doses. Certainly fun to drink but as it is big and ripe like a lot of its Napa cousins in the South, you’ll get less nuances, less complexity than with a Bordeaux. I hardly ever would have the urge to drink a whole bottle of it, I much prefer Bordeaux from a good vintage.

The only place, where Quilceeda (and all its cousins) work just perfectly (and very often better than Bordeaux), is with a big piece of grilled meat with a smokey crust. That’s just a match made in heaven and a purley hedonistic (less so intelectual) experience.

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Mike, that’s about as highly a subjective question as you can ask! Knowing the preferences of this Board (in general), you’re going to get a lot of direction to Bordeaux. That might be great advice, but we have zero idea what your palate is like and what wines you really like right now. That might make replies more meaningful.

The answer is to try both and decide where your own personal preferences lie.

For what it’s worth, I enjoy both and it really comes down to what I’m pairing it with. Quilceda is a “big” wine, meaning it’s high extraction, high alcohol, high ripeness, which produces a very full bodied wine that can be a challenge to pair with food, but I often find can be enjoyable all on its own (nothing to smother). Much of the left bank Bordeaux producers produce something more in the medium to medium plus body, with less ripeness and alcohol, but often more earthiness and complexity, which makes it a lot better with a range of foods.

I’m picking up a bottle of the Quilceda from this latest release - it’s a well made wine in a specific style that I enjoy from time to time. I’ll also pick up some great. Bordeaux wines this year too, as there were a lot of great 2019 wines.

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I’m curious to try the new vintages. A good portion of the winemaking team left a couple years back and went to Matthews Winery. Matthews is making wines that are like $20-$40 range and they’re pretty darn good. Quilceda produces good juice though. In general, comparing the Quilceda Creek wines against some of these Bordeauxs, I think the Quilceda Creek has a lot more fruit. The Bordeauxs have earthier/mineral tones to the wine.


I had the 2016 Palengat a couple days ago and it was delicious, albeit indistinguishable from a solid Napa Cab. Concentrated, dark, dense, and super fruit forward. Comparing it to bdx is kind of apples to oranges. Bdx is lighter but has way more savory notes.

I’m a fan of the Palengat too. Pretty decent value play, and it ages surprisingly well.

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Bought a couple cases in early OOs vintages… Were really big young and when I tried it later it wasn’t a 98-100 point wine, so I never “felt the love.”

I think the critics blew smoke on those ratings. May try one this weekend to see how they have evolved on a BDX-like curve (15+ years since release).

I think the better comparison is Quilceda vs Napa cabs. I think Quilceda is still a screaming value compared to the cans for CA that consistently score in the 97-100 range. And FWIW I love Bordeaux, but I am also a huge fan of the “big” style of Quilceda. It’s simpler but it’s delicious; it’s like the wine equivalent of a perfect cheeseburger. It doesn’t make you think that hard, but you can’t tell me it’s not incredibly tasty.

I used to buy Quilceda Creek. My first vintage was the 94 and the last that I purchased was the 2002. When I initially started buying they were $50, once they broke the $100 mark I didn’t really see much value. They’re exceptionally well made wines, but they just don’t develop with age like a great Bordeaux. The QC will never reach the heights of a Pichon Baron with 20+ yrs of age.

Another comparison… I’d rather have two bottles of 2019 Grand Puy Lacoste than one 2018 QC.