Cayuse Camaspelo 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2016 Camaspelo has a hearty Cabernet core and mineral edge on the nose that is covered in red and black fruits—cassis, blackberry and red cherry skin—and dusty florals. Medium to full-bodied, the wine is spicy on the palate, with structured tannins that build in complexity and continue to evolve, leading to the long, lingering finish with a soft oak flavor. This is an incredibly cellar-worthy and delicious wine. Well done! Only 354 cases were made. Rating: 94+
This has attractive cassis and blueberry aromas with a gently spicy kick from a small amount of tempranillo. The palate has a very modern feel with a build of fresh, ripe, purple and blue fruit and silky tannins. Again, it is the tempranillo that dresses this up on the palate. Clever wine. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and tempranillo. Drink or hold.
The aromas are subdued out of the gate, with notes of earth, tobacco, fresh herb, funk, cassis bud and spice. The palate brings a sense of layering and detail.
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.