Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah 2002
Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
The Wine Advocate - "A classic wine, the 2002 Syrah Bionic Frog, which wasn’t harvested until October 10 and was raised in 50% new oak, offers beautiful, chalky minerality, marine-like saltiness, olive brine, currants and cassis-driven aromas and flavors. Possessing beautiful purity, with an underlying elegance that shows with more time in the glass, drink it anytime over the coming decade."
Wine Spectator - "Powerful, packed with ripe blackberry, cherry and plum fruit flavors, polishing itself up on the finish to show some grace and elegance. With hints of green olive, coffee and roasted meat, this has depth to burn."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Saturated ruby. Superripe aromas of blackberry and smoked meat; initially a bit less urgent than the Cailloux and En Cerise. Thick, superripe and highly concentrated, with impressive volume and weight in the mouth. Began a bit monolithic and sullen, without quite the verve of the Cailloux or En Cerise, but grew fresher with extended aeration as its powerful underlying structure became apparent. Wonderfully layered wine, finishing chewy and very long, with plenty of oak but also noble tannins. This really calls for at least three or four years of patience and may well eventually be the best of these 2002s. From a portion of the Coccinelle Vineyard that yielded just 1.5 tons of fruit per acre in 2002. Christophe Baron told me he vinifies this "like a Verset Cornas: with a long cuvaison featuring lots of stems and whole clusters." The wine is aged in all "magic casks" from Dominique Laurent, 20% new. Like the regular release from Coccinelle, this will likely rate a higher score with bottle aging. Rating: 91+"
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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:
Washington State is exploding onto the world’s wine scene. The second largest wine-producing region in the United States, the number of wineries has more than doubled in the past decade to more than 900 today. The great majority of the state’s 50,000+ acres of vineyards are grown on the east side of the Cascade mountains, where they enjoy 300+ days of sunshine a year, well-draining soils and a diurnal shift ideal for wine grapes.
Washington is not defined by a single grape variety, with nearly 70 varieties to explore. Out of these, the top five are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Syrah. Winemakers and grape growers are driven by a pioneering spirit, and aren’t afraid to experiment with new techniques in an ever-growing quest to make world-class wine. With a state-of-the-art research program, near-perfect growing conditions and the possibility for exponential growth – Washington State is proving itself to be a force to be reckoned with.
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