Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2016 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is co-fermented with 4% Viognier in a Côte-Rôtie style that delivers a red and black-fruited nose with a floral grip and rustic rockiness. It is medium to full-bodied on the palate, with a soft smokiness and olive notes, resulting in an exquisite and structured wine with a focus on terroir. It is thoughtfully balanced on the long-lingering finish with a tannic edge and lifting acidity. This is really well-made wine with a production of only 829 cases.
Aromas of peeled orange, fresh flower, ground black pepper, bacon fat, potpourri, funk, truffle, sea salt, soot and crushed rock are at the fore. The flavors are intensely rich— grabbing you and shaking you around—while still retaining a compelling sense of elegance that ups the interest. An extended, flower-filled finish follows. Best after 2024. Cellar Selection
This syrah is co-fermented with some viognier (the only Cayuse wine to do this) and it has an ethereal edge of yellow plums, white pepper, bacon fat and flowers, all in the mix. A lot of whole-cluster influence here (60-70%). The palate has such deep-set fresh fruit and an attractive, long and juicy feel that carries a silky, long finish. Effortlessly exotic. Drink or hold.
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.