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2009 Syrah Armada Vineyard leads with a high-toned, penetrating nose that one can scarcely avoid calling Cote Rotie-like: bacon fat, fresh cherry, kirsch, framboise, and violet. But there are also black tea, caramel, and a penetrating note of sealing wax that's reminiscent of mature Bordeaux. Dense, fine-grained but more evident tannins than in most of the present collection appear on the palate with savory salinity, however, are utterly Cayuesque. The interplay of flavors here is kaleidoscopic and at the same time almost eye-squintingly bright. What's more, as the wine opens to the air, a real layering and interplay of carnal elements emerge. This Syrah's phenomenal sense of energy as well as of sheer, sappy, expansive presence, make for a finish whose vibratory intensity shakes-up the entire mouth.
"From his high-density 2001 planting, Baron’s 2009 Syrah Armada Vineyard leads with a high-toned, penetrating nose that one can scarcely avoid calling Cote Rotie-like: bacon fat, fresh cherry, kirsch, framboise, and violet. But there are also black tea, caramel, and a penetrating note of sealing wax that’s reminiscent of mature Bordeaux. Around one quarter of the 600-liter barrels in which this was raised (following fermentation in a mixture of cement and wood) were new. Dense, fine-grained but more evident tannins than in most of the present collection appear on a palate whose savory salinity and saliva-inducement, however, are utterly Cayuesque. The interplay of flavors here is kaleidoscopic and at the same time almost eye-squintingly bright. What’s more, as the wine opens to the air, a real layering and interplay emerges of diverse carnal elements alone: smoked meat, game, bloody roasted red meat, marrow and bone meal. This Syrah’s phenomenal sense of energy as well as of sheer, sappy, expansive presence, make for a finish whose vibratory intensity shakes-up my entire mouth. A truly awesome effort, it will surely be worth following for at least 15 years, though I’ve a hunch – without knowing how Baron’s earliest wines (which were surely different in important respects anyway) have matured – that it will reward for significantly longer. (And if you wonder what Baron can do for an encore to such a performance, just sit tight for a year or two!) I’m relieved I didn’t consider it necessary to “score” this wine any higher, otherwise I’d have left no room to express symbolically that the best is yet to come. "
The Wine Advocate
"Dense and concentrated, this has thick, almost jammy blue and purple fruits, with a peppery highlight and an undercurrent of sweet grain. The palate is tight, featuring layers of cassis, ink, anise, coffee and iodine, with an earthy salinity that runs through the finish. The Armada is perhaps a bit less fruity and more austere than the other 2009 Cayuse Syrahs, but is every inch their equal.Editors' Choice"
"Polished, displaying a sense of restraint to the blackberry and dark plum flavors that float easily over the polished finish and linger enticingly alongside notes of black olive and smoke."
"Good deep red with ruby highlights. Distinctly decadent aromas of superripe plum, dried berries, mocha and smoked meat. Extremely dense, lush and thick, offering sweet, wild flavors of black raspberry, mocha and brown spices. Finishes very long, with big, ripe tannins. This large-scaled, mouthfilling, saline syrah will need time in bottle to express itself.Rating: 92(+)?"
International Wine Cellar
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...Read More About Cayuse
So nice, they say it twice...
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...Read More About Walla Walla Valley
(seh-RAH/shee-RAHZ) It's a Smokin' Grape Syrah and Shiraz - same grape, different name. It's a popular and adept variety, growing in multiple regions and creating many different styles of wine. The home base of Syrah is the Northern Rhone, where it creates the exclusive wines of Hermitage and Cote Rotie. On the less pricy side, the Rhone makes Syrah-based wines in Crozes...Read More About Syrah/Shiraz
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