The 2005 Cayuse En Chamberlin was the winning bottle in the December installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was decanted for thirty minutes and served with Chicken Parmesan.
Cayuse was founded in 1997 by Christophe Baron, a native of France who grew up in family of winemakers in Champagne. Baron studied viticulture in Burgundy and Champagne, and had ambitions to make Pinot Noir in Oregon. However, on a visit to Walla Walla he found property that he believed would be perfect for growing grapes and decided to purchase the land.
En Chamberlin Vineyard was planted in 2000. This vineyard produces The Widowmaker Cabernet Sauvignon, Impulsivo Tempranillo and En Chamberlin Syrah.
Maroon in color. 14.1% ABV. Intoxicating aromas of olive brine, cherries and smoked meat. Full bodied with brilliant acidity. Super silky and lush on the palate. Flavors of plum, cherry, mineral, iodine and beef. I’ve had this wine many times over the last few years and the funk associated with early vintages of En Chamberlin seems to be subsiding. The finish is exceptionally long. There are no noticeable tannins on the finish and typically that would make me think the wine needs to be consumed sooner rather than later. That being said the fruit is still here in spades and this wine will probably drink well for several more years. Another triumph from Christophe Baron.
My rating: 95 points.
The waiting list for the Cayuse mailing list is huge and you need to be well-connected to get a bottle via retail. Either way, current vintages are worth the hunt!
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