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Horsepower Vineyards The Tribe Vineyard Syrah 2014

Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP96
  • JS94
  • WS93
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • WE96
  • WS95
  • RP97
  • JS95
  • WS95
  • RP98
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Winemaker Notes

The self-nourishing interrelationship of earth, plants and animals have been central to vigneron Christophe Baron’s farming philosophy ever since he pioneered biodynamic farming in the Walla Walla Valley in 2002.

Horsepower is farmed according to an astrological sowing and planting calendar, and entirely without the use of herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, chemical insecticides or fungicides.

Five draft horses cultivate The Tribe Vineyard, a 3 acre Syrah vineyard that is planted one vine per stake. Spacing is 3.5 feet by 3.5 feet, totaling 3,555 vines per acre.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
From a site that's next to En Chamberlin that's planted with a 4x4 spacing (the Sur Echalas is 3x3), the 2014 Syrah The Tribe Vineyard offers more fruit (blackberry, black cherry) as well as beautiful notes of violets, rose petal, pepper and earth. Fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged in neutral puncheons, this full-bodied beauty has fine tannin, juicy acidity and a great finish. It's in direct contrast to the more masculine, meaty, umami style of the Sur Echalas Vineyard. Give it 2-3 years and it too will be long lived!
Rating: 96+
Rating: 96+
JS 94
James Suckling
Cassis and blue plums with a thread of wild herbs in the mix, as well as woody spices. The palate rolls out on a sappy, stalky spine that carries ripe red plums and ripe tannins, which flesh out nicely through the finish. 100% syrah. Drink or hold.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Balances power and finesse, with distinctive plum, bacon fat and black olive aromas and dense yet polished blackberry and stony mineral flavors that lead to big but refined tannins on the finish. Drink now through 2024.
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Horsepower Vineyards

Horsepower Vineyards

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Horsepower Vineyards, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Horsepower Vineyards is about tradition and history—and making history. It's a connection between a vigneron and his roots. An homage to craft and family. An embrace of the earth that seems at once old-fashioned and new. And at its simplest, it’s a man slowly working the vineyard with his horse, just like generations before him.

Tradition isn’t an abstract concept to Christophe Baron, founder of both Cayuse Vineyards and Horsepower Vineyards—he was born into it. The oldest son of the centuries-old Champagne house, Baron Albert, his family has worked their land in the Marne Valley of France since 1677. As recently as 1957 horses still did all of the vineyard cultivation.

Horsepower represents a return to that time, to a simplicity of craftsmanship and purpose that has been largely lost in the modern translation. It’s a window to the Old World—right here in the new.

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.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

YAO330983_2014 Item# 330983