2012 Cayuse "God Only Knows" Walla Walla Valley Grenache

SKU #1225227 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Structured and backward, the 2012 Grenache God Only Knows Armada Vineyard offers lots of framboise, black cherries, bouquet garni and spice to go with a full-bodied, seamless, elegant feel on the palate. It picks up more and more tannin with time in the glass, and needs 3-4 years of cellaring, but should keep for 15 years or more. As I've said numerous times, Christophe Baron and assistant winemaker Elizabeth Bourcier produce some of the most singular and impressive wines out there. Looking at the 2012s, these were slightly more streamlined and linear than I remembered from barrel, yet are still incredible wines that show the quality of the vintage. The 2013s follow suit and are lively, fresh and focused wines. I think the style here has shifted slightly, and while I miss some of the exuberant flesh and concentration of prior vintages, these new releases have beautiful purity and elegance, I'm just not sure they're better wines. Other developments here include the completion of a new winery that's located just behind the old studio. Made in a modern, clean and functional style, it's a beautiful building and count yourself lucky if you're able to finagle a tour. In addition to these Cayuse releases, don't miss the New Girls (made by Bourcier) and Rata releases which are also included in this report. (JD)  (6/2015)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 It takes some time to open up but when it does, this wine reveals perfumed aromas of potpourri, green olive, savory spices, peat, pepper and mineral. The palate is equal parts light and dense with almost chewy, savory flavors that won’t quit.  (9/2015)

92 points Vinous

 (aged in used puncheons from René Rostaing): Medium bright red. Wonderfully perfumed aromas of ripe raspberry, kirsch, garrigue and potpourri, complicated by a saline element. Leanish, penetrating flavors of purple fruits lifted by violet; not at all a red fruit style of Grenache. Quite tightly wound and firmly tannic, with a finishing perfume that struck me as Burgundian. (ST)  (11/2015)

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Varietal:

Grenache

- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.
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.
Organic: