The 2012 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Vineyard was the winning bottle in the January Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.
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.
Cailloux was Christophe’s first Walla Walla Valley vineyard. This 10-acre plot was planted in the stones of Milton Freewater in 1997.
Blood red in color. 14.2% ABV. Savory nose of red fruits, olive brine, barbecued meats and flowers. Medium body with just the right amount of acidity. Rich and silky with exquisite mouth feel. Cherries, iron, smoke and olives on the palate. The minerality is striking and the finish is long and silky. The co-ferment with Viognier always makes this wine a standout in the Cayuse lineup. The 2012 is absolutely breathtaking. Drink over the next 3-5 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!
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.