Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Washington
#26 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009
Our 100% estate wines include four vineyard designated Syrahs. These highly stressed vineyards average a yield of only two tons or less per acre, resulting in wines true to each vineyard's unique terroir.
The Wine Advocate - "The first of the Syrahs is the saturated purple 2006 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard (with 4% Viognier in the blend). It displays a Cote-Rotie-like nose of smoked meat, game, and bacon with a dollop of burnt sugar and blueberry making an appearance. Layered, plush, and super-rich, this full-bodied, pleasure-bent effort has exceptional length. Difficult to resist now, it can be enjoyed over the next 10-12 years."
Wine Spectator - "Plush and polished, this brims with cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors that are nicely shaded with streaks of mineral and green olive. Supple, harmonious and expressive as the finish keeps sailing on and on. Best from 2011 through 2018. 744 cases made. "
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby-red. Head-spinning aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, raspberry, black olive tapenade, Szechuan peppercorn, gunflint and beef jerky. Deep, sappy and saline, with superb energy to the flavors of dark raspberry, musky brown spices, dark chocolate, black olive and pepper. Finishes with big, broad, dusty tannins and outstanding lift and length. Real wine-class syrah, expressive from the start but gaining in energy with extended aeration. This was better after 24 hours in the recorked bottle, with flavors of blackberry, black olive and pepper dominating. Winemaker/owner Baron points out that this is his flagship wine, with a production of 750 cases."
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An adventure in the new world
Christophe Baron grew up among the vineyards and cellars of his family's centuries-old Champagne house, Baron Albert. His sense of adventure, however, led him to become the first Frenchman to establish a winery in Washington State.
While visiting the Walla Walla Valley in 1996, Christophe spotted a plot of land that had been plowed up to reveal acres of softball-sized stones. This stony soil, this terroir, was just like that of some of the most prestigious French appellations. The difficult ground would stress the grapevines, making them produce more mature, concentrated fruit.
He named his vineyard after the Cayuse, a Native American tribe whose name was taken from the French cailloux--which means, rocks. Hours of back-breaking work later, Cayuse Vineyards has become five vineyards encompassing 41 acres.
The majority is planted with Syrah, and the rest dedicated to Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Roussanne, Tempranillo and Viognier. All of the vineyards are planted in rocky earth within the Walla Walla Valley appellation. Cayuse was the first winery in Washington State to use biodynamic farming methods. View all Cayuse Wines
About Walla Walla Valley
Sharing part of the valley with Oregon, Walla Walla is on the southeast side of the Columbia Valley. It is primarily red grape land, with Cabernet Sauvignon leading in the vineyards, followed by Merlot and the ever-growing and very popular, Syrah.In the 1990's, as Washington State was gaining more acclaim for its red wines, Walla Walla was hailed by wine critics for its quality and sense of place. That has not changed. Many red wines from Walla Walla show not only great complexity and elegance, but ageability. Though the region is known for the red wines, the most planted white grape here is Chardonnay.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.