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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 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.

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 enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. 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