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.
God Only Know is sourced from the Armada Vineyard. At 1815 vines per acre, the 7-acre site, planted in 2001, was the highest density planting in the Walla Walla Valley until 2008. Other wines from the vineyard include the Armada Syrah and Edith Grenache Rosé.
Ruby red in color. 14.2% ABV. Textbook Cayuse nose of cherries, olive brine, game and herbs. Medium body with notable acidity. Rich and savory. Black cherry, umami, charred meats and olives on the palate. The finish is long and seamless. Cayuse has this timeless quality to their wines so I suspect this could age longer but I just can’t imagine it will get better than it is right now. Special Grenache.
My rating: 94 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!
The Christophe Baron portfolio includes Cayuse, Horsepower , No Girls and Hors Categorie. Champagne Christophe Baron recently delivered their first release as well. I am not sure what is next on the horizon for Christophe but I look forward to being a part of it.