Slap a $60 price tag on this and it would still knock out plenty of competitors at that price. We'll say it again: you can't mess with old vines from undoubtedly one of Washington's best vineyards, done in a more classic than massive style, showing off the gorgeous purity and sophistication possible in Washington Cabernet-driven blends. It has a noble stature defined by its wonderfully seamless, velvety texture and by its outstanding balance. You'll enjoy it when you open it now and having spent four days with a bottle, you'll enjoy it at every stage of its evolution if you cellar it. -Marcus
93 points Owen Bargreen (Vinous, Decanter): "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."
2017 vintage notes
93 points Vinous, Steve Tanzer: "Reticent but very pure scents of blueberry, blackberry, cocoa powder, licorice and spices. Fine-grained, vibrant and concentrated; very young and rather tightly wound but already offers a lot of personality, definition and energy, as well as a very suave mouth feel and captivating incipient sweetness. The fullest and most refined of the Soos Creek 2017s today. Finishes suave and long, with integrated tannins and rising notes of purple berries and violet. It’s clear that this wine is from a top-notch site. Veteran winemaker Dave Larsen really nailed the 2017 vintage."
2016 vintage notes
A phenomenal achievement in a winemaking career that remains so ridiculously under-the-radar, 2016 is the single most attractive Soos Creek Ciel du Cheval I have tasted, and that spans a lot of vintages! On day one (yesterday) it's so wonderfully luscious and velvety smooth, rolling out a telltale (and delicious!) combo of dark raspberry, black cherry and black currant with a pinch of dark chocolate; it's so good! Day two (today, yup, this morning) the gorgeous fruit purity is all there, plus accents of graphite, Red Mountain soil, and subtle tannins. It has a kingly stature defined by its balance, not by its bigness. We have only 7 cases so maybe I shouldn't gush so much but what the hell, the wine deserves it.
Ciel du Cheval Vineyard is, without question, one of the actual handful of best vineyards in Washington. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, entirely from coveted 1982 block, plus 5% Merlot. - Marcus