The 2015 Cayuse Grenache God Only Know was the winning bottle in the March installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was not decanted although in retrospect maybe 1-2 hours would have been beneficial.
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. Elizabeth Bourcier is the Vigneron at Cayuse.
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. 14.2% ABV. Savory nose of dark fruits, olive tapenade, gamey meats and flowers. Medium to full body with ample acidity. The Cayuse funk of yesteryear is back in full force here. Strawberry, kirsch liqueur, roasted herbs and minerals on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Singular Grenache that is unabashedly Cayuse. Best 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, known as Bionic Wines, includes Cayuse, Horsepower , No Girls, 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.
I blogged about Cayuse previously in The 2020 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings, Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5 and Cayuse Vineyards – Better than Ever.
Lastly, Cayuse Release Weekend is back in 2023 after a three year break because of the pandemic. The event is happening next weekend and I can’t wait!