2008 Cayuse "Bionic Frog" Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1070438 100 points Wine Enthusiast

 Initially a rather subdued Frog; as if it has been tamed down. Then, suddenly, There’s a plush core of blackberry fruit, and the classic Cayuse funkiness is there, drenched in liquid rocks and cured meat and drying tannins. It’s all in proportion and a fine reflection of the steely vintage. As it opens gracefully you discover that it is a stunningly refined Frog, quite possibly the best ever; powerful and distinctive, but also elegant, feminine. (PG)  (11/2011)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I thought the 2008 Syrah Bionic Frog was insanely good. Checking in at 14.4% natural alcohol (the 2009 was 14.7 and the 2010 14.8), it has soaring notes of cassis, black raspberries, violets, white flowers, mint and olives to go with a full-bodied, ultra-pure, silky, yet concentrated and layered feel on the palate. One of the more elegant, silky and finesse driven examples of this cuvee, it has heavenly aromatics and will have upward of two decades of longevity. (JD)  (6/2015)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright dark red. Multidimensional nose delivers black raspberry, brown sugar, smoky cardamom and black olive. Superconcentrated, sappy and rich, showing a rare blend of power and delicacy. No single element dominates this outstanding syrah; flavors of red and black fruits, pepper and spices wash over the palate in a wave. Finishes with very fine tannins and great persistence. (ST)  (12/2011)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Silky, supple, generous and complex, with black and green olive, licorice and black tea nuances to the sweet plum and fresh currant fruit, lingering effortlessly. Drink now through 2018. (HS)  (8/2011)

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.
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