2013 Cayuse "En Chamberlin" Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1225225 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A wine that continued to change and develop in the glass was the 2013 Syrah en Chamberlin Vineyard, which is the smallest production cuvee of the 2013 single vineyard releases (there’s 340 cases). Notes of smoke, charcuterie, black olives, black pepper and violets all emerge from this complex, layered, full-bodied beauty that has fine tannin, a seamless, elegant texture and beautiful length. Give bottles a few years and drink through 2033. Looking at these latest releases from Cayuse, the 2013s are surprisingly elegant and silky, with less overall concentration and depth than I expected after tasting them from barrel last year. They possess slightly lighter, translucent colors, moderate to good concentration and polished tannin. At times I was wishing for a touch more exuberance and texture. Nevertheless, these are silky, seamless, elegant wines that will be fun to follow over the coming decade or more. (JD)  (6/2016)

95 points Vinous

 Good dark red. Kinky, wild, Old World scents of elderberry, bacon fat, game and flint. Wonderfully silky, round and glyceral but also extremely youthful, offering flavors of raspberry, brown spices, rare steak and smoky minerality; not a floral style. Finishes fleshy, broad and extremely long, with plush, harmonious tannins. (ST)  (11/2016)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Aromas of ground violets, charcoal, smoke, iron, black fruit, tar and salami lead a salty, briny, expressive palate that shows depth concentration and elegance. A long finish caps it off. (SS)  (12/2016)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Generous, round and expressive, open-textured and distinctive, with smoky dried blueberry and tapenade flavors, balancing harmoniously against nubby tannins on the long finish. Drink now through 2023. 340 cases made. (HS)  (8/2016)

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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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