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.
Armada Vineyard 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 God Only Knows Grenache and Edith Grenache Rosé.
Crimson in color. 13.5% ABV. Sublime nose of red and black fruits, bacon fat, smoke and olive brine. Medium to full bodied with healthy acidity. Rich and savory with some telltale Cayuse funk. Black cherry, olives, game and minerals on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Stunning Syrah at the peak of its powers. Best over the next several years.
My rating: 95 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.
The last two Cayuse Release Weekends have been cancelled due to the pandemic. I do hope the 2022 version happens in early April and I definitely plan to partake in the festivities.