2012 Cayuse "Bionic Frog" Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1195693 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 While a lot of the 2012s came in near the bottom of the barrel score, that wasn't the case with the 2012 Syrah Bionic Frog and this beauty flirts with perfection. Inky colored and purple to the rim, it offers extraordinary notes of black fruits, wild mushrooms, smoked earth and salty minerality. These all flow to a full-bodied, thrillingly concentrated, focused, structured and lengthy 2012 that needs 4-5 years of cellaring, and will knock your socks off over the following 15 years or more. (JD)  (6/2015)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 Aromas of dried herbs, green olive, grilled asparagus and smoke lead to intensely concentrated savory flavors with a flat-out dazzling mouthfeel. It's a knockout that overloads the senses. (SS)  (9/2015)

95 points Vinous

 Dark, deep red. A tight core of raspberry on the nose, lifted by wild, high-toned notes of pepper, sassafras, herbs and ponzu sauce. Wonderfully sweet, intense and penetrating, conveying a complex balsamic quality and a meaty nuance to its intense raspberry and spice flavors. Superrich and utterly seamless Syrah, more red than black fruit in character. Finishes aromatic, salty and very long, with fine-grained tannins and superb lift. The fruit was harvested on October 2, but winemaker and owner Christophe Baron noted that the sugars were ahead of phenolic ripeness. (ST)  (10/2017)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Lithe, focused, cohesive and distinctive, with licorice overtones around a core of plum and spice, finishing gracefully and with excellent persistence. (HS)  (6/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 Aromatics of grilled game. Concentrated, strong palate with hints of flowers in the background. A powerful while still pretty wine. Notes of raspberry leaf, violet cream and dark cherry. Persistent tannins and balancing acidity with lots of length. Wants time in cellar. 17/20 points. (ECB)  (6/2015)


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Price: $269.99
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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8