Hello friends. Longtime list members know that I view Soos Creek wines as some of the best values coming out of Washington. Today we have perhaps the biggest value in a value lineup: Sundance.
[Note: Sundance will be today’s feature, but we’ll also include a quick offer at the bottom for Dave’s outstanding Cabernet Franc-dominant Stampede Pass.]
Dave Larsen is one of the great success stories of the Boeing Winemaking Club. He began making wine in 1987, moved from amateur to commercial winemaking in 1989, and kept both gigs (Boeing and Soos Creek) until 2004, when he retired from Boeing to pursue winemaking full time. Despite all those years in the business, Soos Creek is very much a boutique winery, with total production still under 2000 cases. The fruit quality, and the resulting wines, have continued to get better and better with each passing vintage. And the prices have remained stubbornly low.
None lower than Sundance, which is Dave’s entry-level bottling, the gateway drug into the Soos house style. The 2013, which is 50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Cabernet Franc, comes from outstanding vineyards, including Bacchus and Dineen, Klipsun and Wallula. It spent 21 months in 25% new French oak, and offers silky texture and real complexity for a $20 tag. The nose combines a core of cherry and smoky coffee with earthy subtleties, as well as exotic notes of orange peel and star anise. The mix of fleshy fruit and earthy bass notes; the depth of fruit character; the overall sense of harmony and seamlessness: all dazzle at this price point.
And apparently I wasn’t the only one dazzled. Sean Sullivan made it his wine of the week in Seattle Met Magazine last summer, then proceeded to bestow a 91pt review in the December issue of Wine Enthusiast (those of us who follow the Sullivan curve know that a 91pt review for a sub-$20 wine is impressive indeed). Here’s the text from Seattle Met, which was the more extensive review:
Our bonus wine today is a newish wine for Soos. This is the just the second vintage (we offered the 2012 as well). Many of Dave’s wonderful Artist Series wines over the years have been Cabernet Franc dominant and have expressed that grape beautifully. For years I quietly harbored the hope that he would bottle a Cab Franc-dominant wine. No surprise: both vintages have been killer (they’ve also been competitively priced). The fruit comes from Ciel du Cheval, Slide Mountain and Dineen Vineyards, and it offers a no-doubt-about-it Cabernet Franc nose, with great green notes of arugula and poblano pepper over a core of pollen-dusted raspberry fruit. It is beautifully structured, with mouthwatering acid and terrific back-end chew. It’s a Washington-Loire tweener, and like the 2012, it is complex, appetizing, precisely weighted juice, a deeply appealing Cabernet Franc with honest varietal character.
First come first served up to 24 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and the wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.