2011 Cayuse "Armada Vineyard" Walla Walla Valley Syrah
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even better, the 2011 Syrah Armada is probably my favorite of the 2011s. Deep, rich and layered, with phenomenal black plum, damp earth, pepper, mushroom, charcuterie and spice-driven aromas and flavors, this beauty tastes like the essence of this unique terroir. Full-bodied, rich and layered, it too should flesh out beautifully with short-term cellaring and have upwards of two decades of longevity. (JD)
Soft and ripe, layering plum and mulberry fruit with tarry, rocky overtones. A hint of roasted meat develops as the finish lingers, with polished tannins. Offers an open, almost weightless feel. Drink now through 2025.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good full red. Wild, musky, expressive aromas of raspberry, game, woodsmoke, pepper, bacon fat, squid ink and black olive tapenade. Plush and salty on the palate, with raspberry and smoked meat flavors accented by subtle minerality. Finishes with plush tannins and lingering notes of smoke, game and spices. For all its fleshiness, there’s something a bit ungiving about this Syrah: is there more to come? (I should note that an earlier bottle was much more backward and gripping, showing little in the way of easy sweetness to its reticent flavors of singed raspberry, peat and briney olive juice. I rated this one 92+? and thought it needed a good six or seven years in the cellar.)
On display are the requisite Cayuse flavors of funk, savory herb and composted earth, with moderately ripe black fruits in the background. A whiff of pine needles and plenty of forest floor accents complete the picture.