2011 Cayuse "Bionic Frog" Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1149561 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Syrah Bionic Frog is another rocking Syrah from Christophe that does everything right. Creme de cassis, blackberry, smoked earth, toasted spice and violets emerge from the glass, and it flows onto the palate with full-bodied richness, beautiful purity of fruit and brilliant length. Gaining more minerality with time in the glass, it will continue to flesh out nicely with another handful of years in the cellar, and have two decades of ultimate longevity. (JD)  (6/2014)

94 points Vinous

 (13.8%; picked on October 8 and 13, after Baron dropped an additional 20% of his crop in mid-July since the season was three weeks behind; he also did a saignée of another 20% and vinified with 80% whole clusters): Bright, dark red with ruby tones. High-pitched notes of spices, herbs and African violet lift the perfumed aromas of blackberry, boysenberry and huckleberry. Initially surprisingly creamy in the mouth for a wine from such a cool year, combining a sexy sweetness with lovely pepper and lavender lift. This wonderfully perfumed, precise wine is neither hard nor green. Most impressive today on the perfumed, rising, very long finish, which offers superb saline complexity, a subtle note of purple sage and outstanding peppery lift, with the tannins firm but not hard. A wonderfully scented wine from a very cool, late season; Baron told me that there were only three afternoons during the summer with temperatures above 90 degrees. (I should note that in my visits to Walla Walla in late June and July over the last three or four years, I've probably enjoyed no more than three afternoons with temperatures under 90.) (ST)  (10/2017)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Long-time admirers of this wine may find the 2011 version a bit thin. It’s a more subtle wine than is customary, the expressive funk subsumed below lighter layers of peat moss, sea salt and white chocolate. With decanting, scents of shittake mushroom, duck sauce and even chicken broth swirl up from the glass, with black tea flavors running through the tannins. Quite good, yet somewhat muted. (PG)  (2/2014)

92 points Wine Spectator

 A vaguely gamy character informs the blackberry and licorice flavors in this spicy red, hinting at tomato leaf and dried tomato notes as the finish lingers. This has depth and presence. Best from 2016 through 2021. (HS)  (8/2014)

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Price: $229.99
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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8
Organic: