Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2010
Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
The 2009 vintage of this wine was ranked #22 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2012
Cayuse 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 - "Coming from a cold, late vintage where the Syrah didn’t ripen until the first part of October, the 2010 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard showed spectacularly in the retrospective. Inky purple in color, it gives up classic floral qualities intermixed with ample olive tapenade, black raspberry, lavender, orange blossom and pepper on the nose. This gives way to a full-bodied, sexy, seamless and yet always elegant Syrah that has juicy acidity and ripe tannin kicking in on the finish. This was the first vintage where they moved part of the élevage to foudre, and this spent 16 months in roughly 15% new French oak."
Wine Enthusiast - "As usual, the Cailloux is co-fermented with Viognier. The oldest of the Cayuse vineyards, it’s really coming into maturity, delivering a tour de force performance in this new vintage. Aromatically explosive, it opens with floral and citrus—notably orange peel—then fills out with a lush palate bursting with cherry fruit, and the winery’s characteristic, savory, umami flavors. The finish seems unending. Cellar Selection."
Wine Spectator - "Dark and smoky, with bright blackberry and plum lighting up the core, balanced by black olive and stone overtones. This red matches intensity with sleek balance."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Good deep red. Raspberry, bacon fat and black olive on the nose. Silky, fleshy and sweet, with a peppery topnote to the sweet raspberry and beef jerky flavors. Finishes classically dry and extremely long, with noble, fine-grained tannins. This very concentrated and utterly captivating syrah called to mind a Cote-Rotie from the legendary Marius Gentaz."
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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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