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Posts tagged ‘Cayuse’

2011 No Girls Syrah La Paciencia Vineyard – Bottle Notes

The 2011 No Girls Syrah was the winning bottle in the September Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was opened and served immediately.

No Girls Wines is a partnership between famed Cayuse vigneron Christophe Baron and longtime friend and Cayuse general manager, Trevor Dorland. The fruit comes from the Cayuse La Paciencia vineyard, which means patience—appropriate as the project was ten years in the making. The vines are tightly spaced and planted on an angle, giving No Girls a profile all its own. Elizabeth Bourcier is the Winemaker at No Girls.

The name No Girls comes from a mid-19th century building Christophe purchased. Just past the main entrance, at the top of a flight of stairs, the words “no girls” were painted on the wall. The decades old sign was a symbol that this house of ill repute had been shut down. The wine label is an actual photograph.

Crimson in color. 13.5% ABV. Savory nose of red fruits, olive brine and campfire embers. Full bodied with medium acidity. Supple, rich and completely seamless. Cherries, smoked meat, blood and black pepper on the palate. The finish is extraordinarily long with silky tannins. Simply stunning Syrah. I am eager to follow this project as the vineyard matures and winemaker hones her craft. Drink over the next 5-7 years.

My rating: 95 points.

The wine is incredibly hard to obtain. Sign up for the waiting list. Be patient.

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2009 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard – Bottle Notes

The 2009 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard was the winning bottle in the July Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was opened and served shortly thereafter.

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.

At 1815 vines per acre, the 7-acre Armada Vineyard, created in 2001, was the highest density planting in the Walla Walla Valley until 2008. Other wines from the vineyard include the God Only Knows Grenache and Edith Grenache Rosé.

Maroon in color. 14.7% ABV. Savory nose of red fruits, soy sauce, olive brine and smoke. Medium to full bodied with loads of acidity. Immense and concentrated. Plum sauce, warm cherry pie, barbecued meats and minerals on the palate. The finish is incredibly long. In a really nice spot now but this wine will certainly drink well for another 3-5 years. Fantastic Syrah that has a timeless quality to it.

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!

Last year Christophe Baron finally made the cover of the Wine Spectator. Cayuse, Horsepower and No Girls are dialed in and Christophe has a new project and vineyard in the works. Expect to hear about Hors Categorie and Fiddleneck Vineyard in the next year or so. Lastly, Christophe at long last is hard at work on making a vintage Champagne. Expect to hear more in the years to come.

I blogged about Cayuse previously in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power RankingsWinery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5 and Cayuse Vineyards – Better than Ever.

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Pick My Next Bottle – 2009 Syrah

The July Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Syrah from the 2009 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published the following week.

2009 was an average to slightly above average in California and Washington. However, I rarely worry about vintages when purchasing from these producers. Lillian, Carlisle and Cayuse seemingly deliver tremendous wines, year in and year out, regardless of conditions.

The Contenders:

  • 2009 Lillian Syrah –  Inky purple. Explosive aromas of candied dark berries, incense, violet and patchouli, with woodsmoke, olive and Asian spice nuances adding complexity. Lush, palate-coating black and blue fruit compote flavors are energized by bright spice and mineral notes. Picks up candied violet and licorice notes on the sweet, impressively long finish, which is given grip by late-arriving tannins. With its suave marriage of power and energy, this is built for the long haul. There’s no way I’d have guessed that this wine clocked in at 15.2% alcohol save for its fruit intensity. 94 points from Stephen Tanzer.
  • 2009 Carlisle Syrah Cardiac Hill – The 2009 Syrah Cardiac Hill is a gorgeous, thrilling wine laced with bacon fat, tapenade, savory herbs and plums. It possesses gorgeous aromatic delineation and fabulous length. The intense, mineral-drenched finish argues for cellaring the wine for at least another 2-3 years, but readers are going to have a very hard time keeping their hands off this gem. Cardiac Hill is a very cold site. The wine (100% Syrah) was vinified with 40% whole cluster and aged in French oak barrels, 27% new. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029.  93 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2009 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard– A much more voluptuous, concentrated and obviously great Syrah, the 2009 Syrah Armada Vineyard yields lots of plum sauce, spice, licorice and crushed rock aromas and flavors to go with a full-bodied, layered, pedal-to-the-metal style. This is a great wine that will have 20-25 years of longevity.  97 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2009 Syrah Should I Open?

  • 2009 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard (37%, 23 Votes)
  • 2009 Lillian Syrah (35%, 22 Votes)
  • 2009 Carlisle Syrah Cardiac Hill (28%, 17 Votes)

Total Voters: 62

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the August installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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2007 Cayuse Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard – Bottle Notes

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.

En Chamberlin Vineyard was planted in 2000. This vineyard produces The Widowmaker Cabernet Sauvignon, Impulsivo Tempranillo and En Chamberlin Syrah.

Light red or rust colored. 14.2% ABV. Textbook En Chamberlin on the nose with aromas of red fruits, olives, smoked meats and grilled vegetables. Medium body and not lacking in acidity. Plush and concentrated. Cherries, smoke, blood, iodine and minerals on the palate. There is so much going on here. The finish is exceptionally long. As always, the funkiest wine in the Cayuse lineup. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

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!

Last year Christophe Baron finally made the cover of the Wine Spectator. Cayuse, Horsepower and No Girls are dialed in and Christophe has a new project and vineyard in the works. Expect to hear about Hors Categorie and Fiddleneck Vineyard in the next year or so. Lastly, Christophe at long last is hard at work on making a vintage Champagne. Expect to hear more in the years to come.

I blogged about Cayuse previously in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power RankingsWinery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5 and Cayuse Vineyards – Better than Ever.

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2008 Cayuse Syrah En Cerise Vineyard – Bottle Notes

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.

En Cerise literally translated means cherry which is appropriate since this 10-acre vineyard planted in 1998 was a cherry orchard in its former life. En Cerise Vineyard Syrah and grapes for the Flying Pig and Camaspelo Bordeaux blends are grown here.

Magenta in color. 14.1% ABV. Sublime nose of cherries, blood, olive brine and grilled meats. Immense, concentrated Syrah that glides across the palate. Just the right amount of acidity. Flavors of smoke, iodine, cabbage and iron. The finish is crazy long. An iron fist in a velvet glove. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

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! Last year Christophe Baron finally made the cover of the Wine Spectator. Cayuse, Horsepower and No Girls are dialed in and Christophe has a new project and vineyard in the works. Expect to hear about Hors Categorie and Fiddleneck Vineyard in the next year or so.

I blogged about Cayuse previously in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5.

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2007 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Vineyard – Bottle Notes

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. This 10-acre plot was planted in the stones of Milton Freewater in 1997.

Crimson in color and just starting to fade slightly at the edge of the glass. 14.6% ABV. Savory nose of red fruits, blood, iodine and grilled meats all complemented by an amazing floral component. Medium body with light to medium acidity. Supple and silky on the palate. Flavors of cherries, pepper, olive brine and smoke. The finish is absolutely exquisite. Like most Cayuse wines there just aren’t enough superlatives to do the wine justice. Drink over the next 3-5 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! Last year Christophe Baron finally made the cover of the Wine Spectator. Cayuse, Horsepower and No Girls are dialed in and Christophe has a new project and vineyard in the works. Expect to hear about Hors Categorie and Fiddleneck Vineyard in the next year or so.

I blogged about Cayuse previously in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2007 Lillian Syrah – Bottle Notes

Maggie Harrison was assistant winemaker to Manfred Krankl of Sine Qua Non for eight years before moving to Oregon to take over the wine making position at Antica Terra. Lillian Winery, founded in 2004, represents Maggie’s personal project and reflects everything that she learned during her time at Sine Qua Non.

The fruit for the Lillian Syrah comes from the White Hawk Vineyard in Santa Barbara County. The 77 acre vineyard was planted in 1997.

Opaque purple in color. 14.8% ABV. Sublime nose of blueberries, coffee, grilled meats and black olives. Rich, complex and smooth as silk. Full bodied with medium acidity. Black cherry, blueberry liqueur, cassis and charred meats on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long. Absolutely prodigious Syrah. Another brilliant wine from Maggie Harrision. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 95 points.

Lillian belongs in the discussion of best domestic syrahs with the likes of Cayuse, Saxum and the aforementioned Sine Qua Non.

The wine is available via the web site once a year and current vintages run about $75. The 2014 was recently released to the mailing list and will likely be available at retail in Portland in the coming months.

I recently blogged about Lillian forgoing their mailing list which is great news for those of you looking to secure a few bottles.

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2006 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Vineyard – Bottle Notes

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. This 10-acre plot was planted in the stones of Milton Freewater in 1997.

Crimson in color. 15.3% ABV. Musky nose of red fruits, olive tapenade, iodine and grilled meats. Medium to full body with light acidity. Incredibly concentrated. Cherries, cherries and more cherries on the palate with blood, cabbage and game along for the ride. The finish is exceptionally long. Sometimes I feel like I am in a time warp with Christophe’s wines. This was fantastic on release when I first tried it, is fantastic after a decade in the bottle and will likely age well for the forseeable future. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 96 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! Earlier this year Christophe Baron finally made the cover of the Wine Spectator. Cayuse, Horsepower and No Girls are dialed in and Christophe has a new project and vineyard in the works. Expect to hear about Hors Categorie and Fiddleneck Vineyard in the next year or so.

I blogged about Cayuse previously in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2010 Reynvaan Syrah The Unnamed – Bottle Notes

Reynvaan Family Vineyards is a small family owned winery started by Mike and Gale Reynvaan in May of 2004 in Walla Walla, Washington. They initially purchased a 37 acre parcel of land on Cottonwood Road at the base of the Blue Mountains. Their son Matt is the winemaker and Christophe Baron of Cayuse has served as a consultant. Reynvaan Family Vineyards is dedicated to creating fine wines exclusively from the terroir of Walla Walla Valley.

The Unnamed Syrah is co-fermented with 4% Grenache Blanc and is sourced from the In the Rocks Vineyard in Milton-Freewater.

Blood red in color. 14.7% ABV. Reticent nose of red fruits, olive brine, smoke and iron. Full bodied with medium acidity. Immensely concentrated and pure. Cherry liqueur, saline, olives and blood on the palate. The finish lingers. Fantastic Syrah that is only ready to go now with a healthy decant. This wine will certainly age well for the next 5-7 years. Lots to like here.

My rating: 95 points.

The Reynvaan mailing list is not quite full. Well connected buyers can also find the wines at retail. One of the most exciting wineries in Washington. Proceed accordingly.

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2007 Cayuse Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard – Bottle Notes

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.

En Chamberlin Vineyard was planted in 2000. This vineyard produces The Widowmaker Cabernet Sauvignon, Impulsivo Tempranillo and En Chamberlin Syrah.

Magenta in color. 14.2% ABV. Funky nose of red fruits, olive brine, smoke and iodine. Medium body with medium acidity. Smooth, concentrated and powerful. Cherries, blood, peppered steak and minerals on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long and smoky. Not for the faint of heart but definitely in my wheelhouse. Absolutely stunning. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 96 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! Earlier this year Christophe Baron finally made the cover of the Wine Spectator. Cayuse, Horsepower and No Girls are dialed in and Christophe has a new project and vineyard in the works. Expect to hear about Hors Categorie and Fiddleneck Vineyard in the next year or so.

I blogged about Cayuse previously in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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