Cayuse was founded in 1997 by Christophe Baron, a native of France who grew up in family of winemakers in Champagne. Baron studied viticulture in Burgundy and Champagne, and had ambitions to make Pinot Noir in Oregon. However, on a visit to Walla Walla he found property that he believed would be perfect for growing grapes and decided to purchase the land.
Cailloux was Christophe’s first Walla Walla Valley vineyard. The 10-acre plot was planted in 1997, and produces the flagship Cailloux Syrah.
The Cailloux Syrah is co-fermented with 4% Viognier. 15.5% ABV. Blood red in color with some bricking around the edges. A soaring nose of plums, cherries, flowers and grilled meats. The palate is awash with blood, iodine, sausage, game, dark cherries, minerals and cabbage. The finish is long and supple. Great depth and complexity. The wine is literally a meal in and of itself. Unmistakably and unapologetically Cayuse. Aging beautifully. Drink over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 95 points.
The waiting list for the Cayuse mailing list is huge and you need to be well-connected to get a bottle via retail. Either way, current vintages are worth the hunt!
If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.