2014 Cayuse "En Chamberlin" Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1278482 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 358-case 2014 Syrah en Chamberlin Vineyard (100% Syrah aged in 10-15% new 600-liter barrels) is a downright meaty, peppery effort that's reminiscent of walking into a butcher shop in the South of France. Wood smoke, black cherry, teriyaki and layers of peppered meat give way to a rich and layered yet still fresh and lightly textured beauty. With fine tannin and an inherent elegance on the palate, give bottles 2-3 years to fill out and drink over the following decade. (JD) 96+  (6/2017)

93 points James Suckling

 This has handy structure supporting ripe dark cherries in a fresh and more classically styled take on the variety. The palate delivers silky, long-form tannins that curl effortlessly around purple berry fruits. Drink or hold.  (5/2018)

93 points Vinous

 Bright, dark red. Inviting aromas of dark berries, bacon fat, lavender, sexy herbs and brown spices. In the mouth, this Syrah's dark core of fruit is accompanied by what Baron described as "a shitload of minerality." Very firm and brooding wine in a backward, granitic style. But not at all short on energy or definition in spite of its 3.9 pH; in fact, this is quite digestible. A distinctly dark style for Cayuse Syrah, this wine finishes with substantial building tannins. (ST) 93+  (10/2017)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Brooding aromas of crushed rock, mineral, black olive, soot, cracked black pepper, charcuterie and dried herb lead to fresh, focused flavors that are flavorful but remain light on their feet. It shows a bit more tannic heft than this area often shows along with great length on the meaty finish. (SS)  (10/2017)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Taut and well-structured, with bold bacon, licorice and blackberry aromas and complex yet sinewy plum and black olive flavors that finish with big but refined tannins. (TF, Web only-2017)

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Price: $124.99
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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.