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2004 Cayuse "Cailloux Vineyard" Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1109200 96 points Wine Enthusiast

 Flowers, white pepper, iodine, seashell, lemon oil, this is amazingly concentrated. It shoots off an amazing panoply of flavors—all the density, complexity and detail is maintained at rather high alcohol (15.5%). The fruits run from berries through stone fruits to tropical, woven together into a delicious tangle. This is so compact and distinctive that words fail; it sails through layers and layers of exotic flavors, with the characteristic earthy, funky edge that vigneron Christophe Baron imparts. (PG)  (11/2008)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Coming from a vintage that featured a massive freeze that pretty much decimated any unburied vines, the 2004 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is the first to really show that Cayuse funk, with lots of iodine, peat, dried herbs, chocolate and exotic spice all emerging from the glass. Uber-ripe, it’s fully mature, yet still has loads of depth, big fruit and solid length through the finish. I think it’s a fair click back from the new releases, yet it still has plenty of to love and it still improves in the glass. (JD)  (6/2015)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good full medium ruby. Knockout nose offers minerals, brown spices, flowers, bacon fat and woodsmoke. Tightly wound initially, conveying an impression of superb intensity and energy. This, too, is simply finer-grained than most red wines of any stripe from Washington. A juicy, complex wine that finishes with terrific length and aromatic lift. With extended aeration, this showed a powerful aroma of olive tapenade. (ST) 93+  (11/2007)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Supple, open-textured and immensely appealing for the balance of distinctly mineral-accented plum and cherry flavors against subtle touches of coffee, wet earth and oak. (HS)  (6/2007)

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Price: $99.99
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- 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.

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.


- 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 (%): 15.5