Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard Viognier 2015 Front Label
Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard Viognier 2015 Front Label

Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard Viognier 2015

  • RP95
  • WE92
  • JS92
750ML / 13.8% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JD97
  • WE94
  • RP93
  • JD95
  • RP93
  • WE93
  • JS93
  • JD94
  • RP94
  • RP94
  • WE91
  • WE94
  • RP93
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750ML / 13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Christophe’s first Walla Walla Valley vineyard, this 10-acre plot was Cayuse's first vineyard planted in the stones of Milton Freewater in 1997, and produces the flagship Cailloux Syrah.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I’m becoming more and more convinced that the Viognier from this estate is the best example of the variety in the United States, and the 2015 Viognier Cailloux Vineyard does nothing to change my opinion. It’s flat out gorgeous and exhibits notes of white flowers, white fruits and just hints of telltale apricot and honey with time in the glass. Medium-bodied, ultra pure and fresh, yet with depth and texture, hats off to the team here for this smokin’ good Viognier. It’s one of the few that would stand up to the best coming from the northern Rhône valley.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Aged in a mixture of concrete and stainless steel, this wine brings perfumed aromas of crushed stone, flowers and peach. The flavors are mineral laden, broad and silky in feel, showing an impeccable texture and sense of balance. This shows a beautiful sense of freshness.
JS 92
James Suckling
Aromas of sliced apples, lemon and lilac. Stones, too. Medium-bodied, dense and balanced with mineral and green-peach undertones. No wood. Nice lees-stirring character. Drink now.
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Cayuse

Cayuse

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Cayuse, Washington
Cayuse  Winery Image

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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Walla Walla Valley Wine

Columbia Valley, Washington

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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. Somm Secret—Viognier plays a surprisingly important role in the red wines of Côte Rôtie in the northern Rhône. About 5% Viognier is typically co-fermented with the Syrah in order to stabilize the color, and as an added benefit, add a subtle perfume.

PBC91857992_2015 Item# 362080

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