95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Lots of classic Red Mountain tannins and minerality as well as notes of cassis, currants, dried herbs, graphite, and loamy soil define this beauty, and it's medium to full-bodied and wonderfully balanced, with a round, expansive mouthfeel and a great finish. Well worth seeking out, it’s going to deliver the goods for a solid two decades. Ciel Du Cheval is based on 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 19% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot. It comes from unquestionably one of the top vineyards on Red Mountain and spent 18 months in French oak."
Again Dunnuck nailed the note–this wears its Red Mountain heart on its sleeve. It shares some of the fruit silkiness of Camerata and Bel Canto but has a more classic Ciel du Cheval structured profile, calling for some protein if drinking in the early years. -Marcus
2016 vintage notes
94 point Jeb Dunnuck: "A deep purple-colored effort and offers a concentrated, focused, firm style as well as loads of crème de cassis, graphite rocks, and graphite. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and balanced, it's one for the cellar and a good 3-5 years or bottle age will do it well."
2013 vintage notes
Cadence wines represent a stylistic departure from the prevailing trend of Washington wineries, and they always have. Driven more by balance, with an emphasis on earlier grape picking, lower alcohol, less new oak, and no fear of youthful tannins, they are among the most Bordeaux-like wines in Washington. There is plenty of power, fruit, and muscle in their wines — but it’s all wrapped in a finesse-driven package.
We tasted their Ciel du Cheval Vineyard ’13 recently and found it to be superb, possibly the best vintage we’ve tasted of that bottling. A beautiful nose, saline and savory, with sweet fruit lurking beneath. Black currants and red berries are pungent and resin-accented. The tannins are flavorful and carry the long and pure finish. Best now when decanted for 30 to 60 minutes and paired with roast beast. - Marcus
2012 vintage notes
94+ points Wine Advocate: "A blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot and 12% Petit Verdot that spent 18 months in 40% new French oak, the 2012 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard has lifted notes of black raspberry, black cherry, violets, spring flowers and vanilla bean. This gives way to a full-bodied, thrillingly balanced and concentrated palate that has building tannin, a stacked mid-palate and a great finish. Short-term cellaring is advised here, and it will have two decades or more of longevity. Lovers of Bordeaux variety wines need to get on this estate’s bandwagon ASAP."
When wine experts consider Washington State's great vineyards, one name that consistently appears near the top of any list is Ciel du Cheval Vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA. Famed for the elegance and complexity of the wines it produces, Ciel du Cheval has become near-legendary exemplars of what Washington wine is all about.