Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo 2009
Tempranillo from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Wine Enthusiast - "Dark and smoky, this wine is relatively tannic and emphasizes flavors of leaf, bark, root and herb. There's plenty of depth and exceptional power to this wine, which seems unique among New World Tempranillos.
The Wine Advocate - "Baron's 2009 Impulsivo – from his En Chamberlin vineyard, partly fermented and entirely aged in 70% new 600-liter casks – is scented with smoky cigar ash and tar, supplemented by beet root, and licorice, that collectively instantly give away its being Tempranillo. After the high-toned aromatics, textural refinement, dynamic interplay, and diverse allusions to things mineral that nearly all other 2009 Cayuse offerings had in common, it's a bit difficult coming to terms with something as opaque and massive as this wine, which at one and the same time displays creaminess yet also underlying tannic grit. (So I hope I haven't under-estimated it on account of tasting context.) Saliva-inducing salinity is, thankfully, another Cayuse common denominator on exhibit here and adds enormous appeal to a finish almost dour in its dense, smoky, metaphorically darkly-hued, palate-staining persistence. I suspect that this will reward more than a decade in bottle."
Wine Spectator - "Supple, refined and distinctive for its flavors of black olive and black cherry, with hints of rosemary and thyme on the finish. Offers depth and immense appeal."
International Wine Cellar - "Good dark ruby-red. Very ripe, liqueur-like nose hints at mocha, underbrush and porcini. Lush, sweet and very ripe; a bit fresher and less monolithic in the mouth than the nose suggests, with dark cherry and dark berry flavors dominating. The slightly funky finish shows substantial dusty tannins and a saline unami quality but could use a bit more brightness and lift."
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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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