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



“I have pounded the drum for Soos Creek since I first tasted the wines 20 years ago. For those of us who want great value at stupidly great prices, Soos Creek is a treasure.” -- Paul Gregutt

2019 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Cabernet “Among all of the Soos Creek Cabs, this single vineyard expression is in some ways the most significant, as it includes old vine grapes from the 1982 (original planting) and 1994 blocks, along with 20% Cabernet Franc. Aged 21 months in 40% new oak. It still seems a bit shuttered and will respond best to decanting and further cellaring. The potential ageability of this wine is two or three decades. Sadly, this is the last vintage it will be made, 94 points.” Paul Gregutt 3/19/23

2019 Artist Series #19 Red Wine "The 2019 ‘Last Rodeo’ is a blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, with 20% Merlot. It is soft and inviting with a smooth texture and a pretty red fruit profile, with worn leather and graphite notes. Complex and delicious, consume this beauty now and over the next ten years. Drink 2022-2032." Owen Bargreen, 92 Pts.

2019 Sundance Red Wine “Always a fine value, the 2019 Sundance is two thirds Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cab Franc, sourced from the Ciel du Cheval, Klipsun and Dineen vineyards.That’s a helluva great trio for such an affordable wine. It’s a ripe and tangy tangle of red berries, stiffened up a bit with hints of stem and seed. Aged 21 months with 10% of the barrels new, this all-purpose red is a showcase for the power of Washington’s Bordeaux style wine, and especially those driven by Merlot. 92 points” Paul Gregutt 3/19/23

2019 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon "Coming from both the Ciel du Cheval and Klipsun Vineyards, the 2019 ‘Red Mountain’ Cabernet Sauvignon offers black rose petals, cigar box and scorched earth notes with heady dark fruits on the nose. Refined and opulent, velvety tannins frame a core of anise, blackberry pie, black currant and espresso grounds. The palate is silky smooth, as this is gorgeous stuff to drink now and over the next fifteen plus years. Drink 2022-2037." Owen Bargreen, 93 Pts.

2019 Le Tastevin Cabernet "Coming from the Ciel du Cheval, Ranch at the end of the Road and Klipsun Vineyards on Red Mountain, this delicious 2019 wine delivers good structure and flavor density with tar, anise, blackberry compote and dark chocolate shaving flavors. Delicious to consume now, enjoy this beauty over the next fifteen years. Drink 2022-2037." Owen Bargreen, 93 Pts.

2019 Terrible Beauty Cabernet Sauvignon “Pure varietal from three killer sites – Ciel du Cheval, Elephant Mountain and Klipsun – this is a slightly high-toned, sharply-defined expression of pure Cabernet Sauvignon. The dusty aromas recall a Rutherford Cab that might sell for triple this price. Dave Larsen has access to great fruit and blends these different sources with a masterful touch. Pinpoint definition, pure and clean red and blue fruits, a finishing taste of light char and even more as it winds down – tobacco, ash, dark chocolate, and coffee grounds. Nothing terrible here – pure and beautiful, 93 points.” Paul Gregutt 3/19/23

2019 Soleil Red Wine "The really good 2019 Soos Creek ‘Soleil’ red wine mainly Cabernet Sauvignon (57%) with smaller portions Merlot and Cabernet Franc blended in. Very soft on the mouth, this revels in its ripe red currant, black cherry, dried sage and cigar ash flavors. Enjoy this outstanding new red blend over the next ten to fifteen years. Drink 2022-2035." Owen Bargreen, 92 Pts.