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.
Armada Vineyard was planted in 2001. At 1815 vines per acre, this 16-acre vineyard, was the highest density planting in the Walla Walla Valley until 2008. Besides the Armada Vineyard Syrah, notable wines include the God Only Knows Grenache and Edith Grenache Rosé.
Decanted for 30 minutes. Ruby red in color. 14.5% ABV. Unmistakably Cayuse. Big, funky and supremely concentrated (but less funky than the other ’04 Cayuse Syrahs). Blueberries, saline and soy sauce on the nose. Olive tapenade, pork rind, cherries, blueberries and iron on the palate. The finish is immense. The purity of fruit is amazing. Perfectly balanced. Drink over the next year or so.
My rating: 97 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!
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