2011 Cayuse "En Cerise" Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1151104 98 points Wine Enthusiast

 The immediate impression is of savory umami aromas pierced with pine needle and sage highlights. Red and black licorice, along with sweet cured meats, bring complexity to fruit flavors of berry, cherry and plum. Toss in Provençal spices, coffee grounds and the classic Cayuse earthiness that continues through a deep, firm, beautifully defined finish. *Cellar Selection* (PG)  (2/2015)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Made from 100% Syrah, the 2011 Syrah En Cerise is similarly styled, with perfumed black cherry, plum, violets, spring flowers and salty minerality giving way to a seamless, thrillingly pure Syrah that has full-bodied richness, no hard edges and fine tannin. It too will be better in another couple of years and evolve for 15 years or more. (JD)  (6/2014)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium ruby-red. Dark raspberry, smoke, brown spices and crushed herbs on the nose; distinctly darker than the Cailloux, the way the Cote Brune is darker than the Cote Blonde in Cote-Rotie. Boasts outstanding thickness and spiciness on the palate; wonderfully sweet, lush and saline, with its pepper and spice elements gaining strength in the glass. (ST) 94+  (12/2014)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Packs a wallop of black cherry and blueberry flavors into a structure of unexpected transparency, hinting at black olive and pepper notes as the finish lingers easily. Shows grace and power. (HS)  (8/2014)

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Price: $119.99
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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.
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.