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.
The fruit for GOK is sourced from Armada Vineyard which was Armada which was planted in 2001. At 1815 vines per acre, the 7-acre site, 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. 13.5% ABV. Sublime nose of red fruits, blood, smoke and olive brine. Medium body with medium acidity. Savory and rich with great structure and power. Cherries, kirsch liqueur, roasted herbs and white pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish with resolved tannins. One of the very best domestic Grenache and it is in a great place at 9 years of age. I’ll check in on the last bottle of my 3 pack in the next year or two.
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 and Champagne Christophe Baron. I am not sure what is next on the horizon for Christophe but I look forward to being a part of it.