2014 Hors Categorie Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1355283 99 points Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The first vintage for this new vineyard (they made a 2013 but kept it all in magnum... if you get a bottle, call me), the inky colored 2014 Syrah is a huge, unctuous effort the exhibits crazy notes of Asian spice, soy, shiitake mushroom, blackcurrants and tar. Tasking like a young Hermitage la Chappelle from Jaboulet (from a great vintage), with lots of tannin, blood, minerality and smoke, a huge mid-palate, and tons of tannin, it's a tour de force in Syrah I wish I could pour for every reader. Forget bottles for 4-5 years and drink over the following two decades or more. (JD) Inner quote mark (6/2017)

97 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Impressive saturated ruby color. Tight, brooding nose combines blackberry, licorice, lavender, flint, black pepper and brown spices; I would have picked this blind as Hermitage, and a very good one at that. The palate boasts exceptional fruit intensity and finesse, with lovely floral lift, but this strongly saline wine is wound tight in the early going despite showing some superripe notes. The palate-staining finish features serious but suave tannins and unflagging purple fruits. Utterly seamless, bulletproof fruit here. This remarkable wine, representing a yield of under one ton per acre, comes from a 2.2-acre Syrah vineyard planted in 2011 (!) by owner Christophe Baron on a very steep slope in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. I predict that this bottling will become one of the New World's greatest and longest-lived Syrah bottlings as the vines mature. (ST) Inner quote mark (10/2017)

96 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Just under 1ha of steep hillside vineyards planted on stakes and farmed biodynamically deliver fruit of exceptional ripeness for this bottling. This wine shows all the intensity and density of the house style but without the excess of some of the other bottlings. There is great purity of fruit and a profoundly aromatic nose that ranges from cassis to blackberry and plum with notes of violets, roasted meat and fresh earth. The palate has more tension and snap than most. (CC) Inner quote mark (5/2021)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark This is a new project from Christophe Baron. The aromas pop, with notes of earth, plum, nori, iron, sea salt, herb, olive tapenade, black pepper and smoked meat. The palate is concentrated and structured, with rich yet restrained bacon fat and smoke flavors that bring a sense of vibrancy and richness along with a near endless finish. It brings a fair amount of tannic heft that will benefit from some additional time in the bottle. *Cellar Selection* (SS) Inner quote mark (10/2017)

94 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark A wonderful new syrah from the owner of Cayuse. Rich and fresh aromas of dried meat, bacon fat, fresh tea and berries. Medium to full body, soft and round tannins and a flavorful finish. Tiny production. Drink now. Inner quote mark (5/2018)

93 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Intensely structured, yet polished and focused, with expressive blueberry, smoky bacon and cracked pepper flavors that take on richness toward refined tannins. (TF) Inner quote mark (5/2018)

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Price: $349.99

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