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


2019 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Cabernet "Really good even at the three year mark, the 2019 Soos Creek ‘Ciel du Cheval’ Cabernet Sauvignon is a masterclass by winemaker David Larsen. He has opted to blend in 20% Cabernet Franc, as the florals really pop instantly in the glass, with black tea, boysenberry coulis and garrigue notes. The palate delivers plenty of mouth-watering acidity, with refined tannins that hold in place a core of medium to full-bodied dark fruits, with coffee grounds and herbal undertones. Drink 2022-2037." Owen Bargreen, 93 Pts.

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 "While ‘Sundance’ might be their entry level wine, the 2019 edition is no simple red wine. This comes off very soft and inviting with layers of black currants, Arabica bean and huckleberry with creosote notes. Complex and delicious, enjoy this medium-bodied effort over the next five to seven years. Drink 2022-2029." Owen Bargreen, 91 Pts.

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 The vintage is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from the Ciel du Cheval, Elephant Mt., and Klipsun vineyards. It has the usual blend of earthy, herbaceous, and berry fruit flavors, with more emphasis on the earthiness this vintage. The slightly higher acid gives it additional structure making it “tight” at this stage. It will benefit from extra aeration and will age well for 20+ years.

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.