2007 Cayuse "Cailloux Vineyard" Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1070803 99 points Wine Enthusiast

 **Top 100 Cellar Selections 2011** The only one of the Cayuse Syrahs that is co-fermented with Viognier, this opens with a stunning, floral bouquet, showing extraordinary depth and texture. The wine has a floral top, a thickly fruity middle and a base with smoke, rock and meat. Still very young, it is already a complete, fully-realized, near-perfect wine with a finish that extends for many minutes. This should age for 25 –30 years. Right now, it’s almost frozen in place; still a bit tannic, but with superb aging potential.  (2/2011)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Baron’s 2007 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is unusual for its combination of Cote Rotie-like bacon, smoky black tea, and floral aromatic overtones with rich chocolate and licorice, all of these mingling with sappy confitured dark berries. This is amazingly supple and silken-textured, not because the tannins were baked-out of the fruit on the vine, but instead simply because they’re so fine. After setting you up for a continuation of its incredible richness all the way to a long finish, it introduces tar, black pepper, and an almost horseradish- and mustard green-like bite for an effect of spine- not just tongue-tingling invigoration. At the same time, the mouthwateringly carnal aspects of this multifarious performance are never far below the surface. (While I realize it isn’t 'supposed' to show up its Bionic Frog counterpart, when tasted alongside one recognizes that this must be having an exceedingly good day. I suspect this Cailloux will remain well worth revisiting for the better part of a decade.)  (12/2012)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Tar, hot stone and licorice notes weave through the rich, dark plum, mulberry and currant aromas and flavors. A complex, beautifully knit wine that lets its flavors sail through a long, compelling finish.  (6/2010)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good full ruby-red. Initially reticent nose shows black fruits, black olive, pepper, wild herbs, dried rose and violet face powder as it opens in the glass; I would have picked this as northern Rhone and been shocked to find I was wrong. Sweet, dense and primary, with intense flavors similar to the aromas. Really remarkably energetic and delineated for Washington syrah, offering outstanding grip and inner-mouth perfume. This somehow saturates the palate while coming off as weightless. Finishes very long and fine, with lingering notes of pepper, herbs and spices. A great vintage for Cayuse's flagship bottling.  (12/2010)

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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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