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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Cayuse The Lovers 2011

Other Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP94
  • WE93
  • WS92
13.4% ABV
  • WE93
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • RP96
  • WS92
  • WE91
  • RP95
  • WE92
  • WS91
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13.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and a splash of Syrah (10%) that was first made in 2010, the 2011 The Lovers has some solid Cayuse funk, with copious peat moss, herbs, mineral and violets balanced nicely by black-cherry-styled fruit. Medium to full-bodied, layered and nicely textured, it offers plenty of up-front appeal yet should also evolve gracefully.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Just the second vintage for this Cab/Syrah blend, it sets its umami-soaked fruit in a crusty, toasty framework. Adding a splash (here 10%) of Syrah was once known in Bordeaux as to “Hermitager” the wine, bringing color and spice into the mix. This relatively soft Cabernet shows highlights of orange peel, apricot, pepper and cured meat.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Ripe and open-textured, with expressive cherry, cassis and floral aromas and flavors that weave together into a harmonious whole, lingering enticingly on the polished finish. Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Drink now through 2022.
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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. It is home to both historic wineries and younger, up-and-coming producers. Though it is cooler and wetter than most of Washington State’s viticultural areas, irrigation from the Columbia River is still common, though some vineyards on the rainier eastern end of the AVA are able to dry farm.

The conditions in the Walla Walla Valley are perfectly suited to Rhône-inspired Syrahs, distinguished by savory notes of black olives, smoke, bacon fat, and fresh earth. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are produced in a range of styles from smooth and supple to tannic and structured. White varieties are a relative rarity here. Sauvignon Blanc is sometimes blended with Sémillon in the style of Bordeaux white blends, resulting in a richer, rounder version take on the variety. Plantings of Viognier are minimal, but often quite successful.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

SWL140507_2011 Item# 140507