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 Cerise Vineyard was planted in 1998. Translated from French, it means cherry – appropriate as the site was a former orchard.
Ruby red in color. 14.6% ABV. Textbook Cayuse on the nose with aromas of cherries, olive brine and cabbage. Medium body with all sorts of acidity. Pure silk on the palate. Flavors of black olives, bacon fat, grilled meat, cherries and pepper. The finish is exceptional. Fantastic Syrah and under appreciated wine in the Cayuse lineup. Drink over the next 2-3 years.
My rating: 96 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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