Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard Viognier 2011 Front Label
Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard Viognier 2011 Front Label

Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard Viognier 2011

  • WE94
  • RP93
750ML / 13.6% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JD95
  • RP93
  • WE93
  • JS93
  • RP94
  • RP95
  • WE92
  • JS92
  • RP94
  • WE91
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750ML / 13.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
This vintage marks a welcome return of Viognier to the otherwise all-red Cayuse portfolio. It’s an immaculate, elegant, complex wine, redolent of wet stone, dried herbs (thyme, rosemary), jicama, cucumber, lime, grapefruit, melon and more. It is clear and clean, precise and focused. It does not push the ripeness, or overshoot the cool vintage, and never sacrifices complexity. Fermented and aged in a concrete egg, it’s seen no oak at all. Editors' Choice
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the best examples of the variety coming out of Washington, the 2011 Viognier Cailloux Vineyard (vinified all in concrete) offers up a decidedly pure, clean profile of white peach, citrus rind, liquid mineral and hints of white flowers. Starting out firm and even slightly lean, it blossoms with air to show a medium to full-bodied, gorgeously textured palate that stays remarkably precise and focused. Impressive all around, this beauty will continue to drink nicely for 3-4 years (although bottles wouldn’t last that long in my house). Drink now-2017.
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Cayuse

Cayuse

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Cayuse, Washington
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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.

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Responsible for some of Washington’s most highly acclaimed wines, the Walla Walla Valley has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and is home to both historic wineries and younger, up-and-coming producers.

The Walla Walla Valley, a Native American name meaning “many waters,” is located in southeastern Washington; part of the appellation actually extends into Oregon. Soils here are well-drained, sandy loess over Missoula Flood deposits and fractured basalt.

It is a region perfectly suited to Rhône-inspired Syrahs, distinguished by savory notes of red berry, black olive, smoke and fresh earth. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot create a range of styles from smooth and supple to robust and well-structured. White varieties are rare but some producers blend Sauvignon Blanc with Sémillon, resulting in a rich and round style, and plantings of Viognier, while minimal, are often quite successful.

Of note within Walla Walla, is one new and very peculiar appellation, called the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. This is the only AVA in the U.S. whose boundaries are totally defined by the soil type. Soils here look a bit like those in the acclaimed Rhône region of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but are large, ancient, basalt cobblestones. These stones work in the same way as they do in Chateauneuf, absorbing and then radiating the sun's heat up to enhance the ripening of grape clusters. The Rocks District is within the part of Walla Walla that spills over into Oregon and naturally excels in the production of Rhône varieties like Syrah, as well as the Bordeaux varieties.

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Full-figured and charmingly floral, Viognier is one of the most important white grapes of the northern Rhône where it is used both to produce single varietal wines and as an important blending grape. Look for great New World examples from California, Oregon, Washington and cooler parts of Australia.

PBC9185792_2011 Item# 152365

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