Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – Six Degrees of Christophe Baron

The February Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on the wines of Christophe Baron. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published next week.

Christophe Baron founded Cayuse in 1997. Christophe is the Vigneron at Cayuse. No Girls Winery, founded in 2008, is an offshoot of Cayuse, created by Christophe, Trevor Dorland and Elizabeth Bourcier. Elizabeth is the Winemaker. Horsepower Vineyards was founded in 2011 and Christophe is the Vigneron and Elizabeth is the assistant Vigneron.

I had hoped to include a wine from La Rata in this version of Pick My Next Bottle. La Rata, founded by Elizabeth focuses on a single wine which is a Priorat inspired blend of Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. Unfortunately I was unable to find any professional reviews. Regardless, I intend to post a La Rata Bottle Note in the near future.

The Contenders:

  • 2012 Cayuse God Only Knows Grenache – Structured and backward, the 2012 Grenache God Only Knows Armada Vineyard offers lots of framboise, black cherries, bouquet garni and spice to go with a full-bodied, seamless, elegant feel on the palate. It picks up more and more tannin with time in the glass, and needs 3-4 years of cellaring, but should keep for 15 years or more. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2011 Horsepower Grenache – The 2011 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard is a sensational blend of 100% Grenache that comes all from a vineyard located just to the west of Cayuse’s Armada Vineyard. Planted to 4,840 vines per acre, it’s farmed completely by horse. Showing every bit as well from bottle as from barrel, it offers up layers of pepper, smoked herbs, gunpowder and black fruits to go with a deep, structured style on the palate. Incredibly concentrated, especially in the vintage, it has a gracefully, balanced feel before firming up substantially on the finish. Give this beauty 2-3 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following decade. Unfortunately, there are only 131 cases of it to go around, so if you get the opportunity to grab some bottles, don’t miss it. 97 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2012 No Girls Tempranillo – A new cuvee that I absolutely loved from barrel last year, the 2012 Tempranillo La Paciencia Vineyard is brilliantly done and gives up a crazy bouquet of blackberries, black cherries, bouquet garni, roasted meats and dried violets. Full-bodied, seamless and elegant, with silky tannin and fabulous precision and length, it’s slightly more approachable than Cayuse’s Impulsivo, yet should still benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and evolve for 10-15 years after that. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which Christophe Baron Wine Should I Open?

  • 2011 Horsepower Grenache (52%, 14 Votes)
  • 2012 No Girls Tempranillo (44%, 12 Votes)
  • 2012 Cayuse God Only Knows Grenache (4%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 27

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the March installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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