Cayuse En Chamberlin Syrah 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2017 Syrah en Chamberlin Vineyard is unmistakable on the nose, boasting an intensely framed Syrah that offers up generous and juicy dark fruit, framed by meaty, umami and savory expressions of olive tapenade, black pepper and charcuterie before drifting back to aromas of violets and lavender. Full-bodied and firmly structured, the wine is built like a tank, revealing layers of complexity and elegance that are supported by fine-grained tannins and rocky minerality across the mid-palate. With power and finesse, the wine somersaults in the mouth, before leading to a long, impressive conclusion that continues to develop in length.
This red shows lots of smoked meat and spices, as well as dried-strawberry and raspberry character. Full-bodied, yet not overpowering, with creamy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Tightens at the end. Shows focus and intensity. Drink or hold.
More tapenade, dried herbs, chocolate, sweet mulch, and sweet black fruits emerge from the 2017 Syrah En Chamberlin, a medium to full-bodied, ripe, powerful 2017. With building tannins, a plump, expansive mid-palate, plenty of classic Rocks funk, and a great finish, it doesn’t quite have the precision of the En Cerise yet is more sexy and opulent. It benefits from a decant if drinking any time soon and will evolve gracefully for 15 years.
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.