Instrumental Washington Winemakers Through the Decades

From Quilceda Creek in 1979 to Prospice in 2019.

By Sean P. Sullivan 9/24/2019 at 9:00am Published in the October 2019 issue of Seattle Met

  • 1979: Quilceda Creek makes its first commercial wine—a cabernet sauvignon; it goes on to become arguably the most prestigious label in the state.
  • 1989: Soos Creek creates its first wine in founder David Larsen’s garage, starting a 30-year legacy of unassuming excellence.
  • 1999: Charles Smith launches K Vintners, focusing largely on single vineyard syrahs, and in doing so sets himself up to become a ruler of Washington wine.
  • 1999: James and Poppie Mantone start Syncline Winery. Rhône-style wines in Washington are never the same.
  • 1999: Ernst Loosen of Germany’s Dr. Loosen partners with Chateau Ste. Michelle to create Eroica and leads a U.S. riesling renaissance.
  • 2009: Charlie and Lacey Lybecker found Cairdeas Winery, helping to put Lake Chelan on the appellational map.
  • 2019: A new crop of wineries are already making waves this year. See Grosgrain and Prospice.

Soos Creek Wine Cellars
24012 172nd Ave SE
Kent, Washington 98042

David and Cecile Larsen,

Phone: 253-631-8775


Limited Time Futures Offering: 2020 Champoux Vineyard Block 4 Cabernet Sauvignon This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, fermented in a modern concrete tank, using native yeast, and aged in 50% new French oak barrels. It has a very dark ruby red color, extremely concentrated flavors of black fruits, a long aftertaste, and great structure from the tannin and acid for long-term aging. This futures price offer expires on December 15, 2021. Bottling will be in the spring of 2022 and delivered as soon as weather permits. Any unsold wine will become available at the same time as our other 2020 wines at a price of $50.

2018 "Red Mountain Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 ‘Red Mountain Reserve’ shows off heady blackberry compote, creosote, and Turkish coffee tones with black florals on the nose. The palate is polished and downright voluptuous. Layers of huckleberry and black tea collide with smoke, minerals, cassis, and exotic spices. Polished and refined, with a silky texture and great flavor density, this glorious new wine will provide drinking enjoyment over the next fifteen years. Drink 2021-2036. 93 Pts. Owen Bargreen.

2018 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Wine. The densely packed 2018 Soos Creek ‘Ciel du Cheval Vineyard’ Red Wine is an awesome wine even at the three-year mark. Exotic spices, scorched earth, tobacco, and gobs of dark fruits greet you on the nose. The palate is fresh and polished with good tension and a light dusting of salinity that falls upon the core of dark fruits and espresso bean tones. Gorgeous to enjoy now, this has another fifteen years ahead of it. Drink 2021-2035. 93 Pts. Owen Bargreen.

2018 Terrible Beauty Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2018 ‘Terrible Beauty’ exudes class with its soft mouthfeel and good level of viscosity and tension. Its medium to full-bodied and loaded with dark fruits and chocolate tones, with mineral accents. Drink 2021-2031. 91 Pts. Owen Bargreen.

2018 Artist Series No. 18 A blend of 59% Cabernet Franc with 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 ‘Artist Series’ shows off heady black tea, black currants and cigar box aromatics. The palate shows off ripe dark fruits, with beautiful texture and verve. Graphite, coffee grounds and anise tones add to the enjoyment, as this has a least another decade to go. 92 Pts. Owen Bargreen.

2018 Elephant Mountain Vineyard Red Wine A whiff of toasty oak immediately catches your attention as ripe dark currants collide with smoke, graphite, and blackberry compote on the nose. The palate is seamless and beautifully textured with a great acid and tannin edge that hold everything in place nicely. Drink 2021-2033. 91 Pts. Owen Bargreen.

2018 Sundance Red Wine A blend of 58% Merlot with the remainder Cabernet Franc, the 2018 ‘Sundance’ shows off dense cassis, tobacco, and creosote tones on the nose. The palate is fresh and viscous with great acidity and ripe dark fruits that mingle with chocolate covered espresso bean tones. Drink 2021 – 2031. 91 Pts. Owen Bargreen.

2018 Soleil Red Wine 60% Cab Franc, 33% Merlot, 7% Cab Sauvignon. 91 Pts. Sean Sullivan, December 2021 issue of The Wine Enthusiast, description not yet available.

2018 King Cab Cabernet Sauvignon With 10% merlot. “Fruit for this wine comes from high-density plantings at McNary Vineyard. The aromas are reserved, with notes of coffee, dried and fresh herbs and chocolate. The palate shows the density and richness that is the hallmark of Cabernet from this region. It’s a big-time winner.” 92 Pts. Sean Sullivan, The Wine Enthusiast.