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The Ciel du Cheval blend often takes a backseat to its even more famous sibling from Champoux. But this wine is outstanding. A juicy and concentrated array of red and black raspberry, with layers of spicy black cherry and sweet black currant gliding through, adding dried herb and mineral notes through the finish. The tannins carry loads of flavors and, with the overall fantastic balance, will help this age for a decade or more. - Marcus

Focused, deep and distinctive, offering grace notes of mint and peach fuzz tannins around a solid core of black cherry fruit, lingering easily on the extended finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Best from 2014 through 2020. - Wine Spectator

The cooler weather resulted in a blend with lively acidity (pH 3.57 for you fellow wine geeks). The acid combined with the usual abundant tannins and concentrated flavors will make this an extremely long-lived wine. It will be interesting to see how it evolves over the next 20+ years. The blend is 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot. The terroir is unmistakable because of the combination of complex black fruit flavors and minerality. This site and Champoux are two of the iconic vineyards in Washington State. - the winery

2009 Vintage

Simply put, I love Soos Creek's Ciel du Cheval. Black raspberry and black currant, with touches of espresso, earth and baker's chocolate on the finish. Really hard to resist drinking this now, the 09 Ciel has such amazing fruit and just a slight veil of tannins providing backbone. There's verve that demands another glass or you can cellar for 4-6 years. - Marcus

The berry size in this vineyard was small which resulted in darker, more concentrated and tannic wines so the winemaker reduced the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon down to 56%. The other wines in the blend are Cabernet Franc 22% and Merlot 22%.

Ciel du Cheval is easily one of the top vineyards in the Pacific Northwest for Bordeaux varietals.

2008 Vintage Tasting Notes

I need a new superlative. Awesome. The word that comes to mind is harmony - red and black fruits, dark and bright character, sweet fruit and mineral. The red raspberry top note and black currant bottom end makes this irresistible now; the fine tannins keep adding harmony and aging potential. - Marcus

This is another of the great Washington State vineyards. This blend is from vines up to 26 years old and is comprised of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc and 9% Merlot. It reminds me of our 1995 Columbia Valley wine that was very balanced and drinkable on release but continues to age beautifully. It has distinctive flavors of raspberries, black currants and a stony minerality plus adequate tannin for long-term aging. - the winery

2007 Vintage Tasting Notes

Gushing with lush fruit, the dark raspberry, sweet black cherry, and cassis flavors play against a structured earthiness. Soos Creek continues to nail it, making killer reds with a ton of personality and class.

The 07 Soos Creek Ciel du Cheval is 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot.

This is our favorite vintage from this vineyard since 1999. Deciding on the blend was difficult because they all tasted so good. But to best reflect the character of the vineyard and the vintage, we decided to make this wine in a Reserve style (73% Cab, 18% Cab Franc and 9% Merlot). It is dark, dense and decadent. You can enjoy it now but it may need some extra time to become more harmonious. It has distinctive flavors of raspberries, black currants and stony minerals plus gobs of tannin for its structure. You can look forward to drinking this wine over the next 15+ years. - the winery

2006 Vintage Tasting Notes

Explosively aromatic, with flavors to match. Huge cassis, blackberry and red cherry are backed up by classic Ciel du Cheval structure. Still, the wine is rich and rounded, with graphite nuances accenting the pure, long finish. - Avalon

More About Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

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 and its owner Jim Holmes have become near-legendary exemplars of what Washington wine is all about.

The desirability of fruit from Ciel du Cheval can be seen in the names of the wineries that produce wine from the vineyard: Quilceda Creek, Andrew Will, Betz Family, DeLille, Fidelitas, Mark Ryan, McCrea Cellars, and Cadence - among others.

"It's great to have such a positive reputation," admits Jim Holmes. "But it's one of those things that feels temporary because there's always the next guy coming up around the corner somewhere!"

But what isn't temporary at Ciel du Cheval are the two ingredients of success that Holmes feels are critical. "Dirt and climate, climate and dirt," he says when asked how he accounts for his vineyard's success. More about Ciel du Cheval Vineyard...

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