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Cayuse Flying Pig 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP95
  • WE94
  • WS90
14.2% ABV
  • RP94
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • RP97
  • WE94
  • WS92
  • RP96
  • WE93
  • WS91
  • RP95
  • WS92
  • RP95
  • WS92
  • RP94
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  • WS93
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14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A Merlot-dominated blend, the 2011 Flying Pig checks in as 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 12 months in 50% new French oak before being moved to large oak puncheons. Deep-ruby in color, it has beautiful cassis, plum, licorice, olive tapenade and lead pencil shaving-like aromas and flavors that give way to a full-bodied, layered and concentrated 2011 that has beautifully integrated oak, plenty of mid-palate and a terrific finish. Enjoy it anytime over the coming 10-15 years.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
The blend on this Claret-style red is a bit different this year—half Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. As with the other 2011 Cayuse reds, this has a noticeable shift to floral, delicate aromas, with the savory/funk present but somewhat muted. The minerality under the ripe raspberry fruit gives it a crunchy feel in the mouth, lightly dusted with fresh herbs. The persistent finish seems to have a steel frame supporting it.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Polished, round and expressive, open-textured and appealing, with tobacco-accented cherry and spice flavors, hovering intently over the long finish. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2019.
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Cayuse

Cayuse

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Cayuse, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, 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.

Walla Walla Valley

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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.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

YAO138955_2011 Item# 138955