2015 Hors Categorie Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1411451 100 points Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2015 Syrah from Hors Catégorie is spectacular, bursting from the glass with a stunning bouquet of smoked charcuterie, blackberries, licorice, dried violets and rich forest floor. Structured around beautifully velvety tannins on the palate, the wine is full-bodied, layered and immensely concentrated, yet it manages to remain weightless. While there's plenty of fruit here, it's this Syrah's mouthwateringly savory qualities that define the protracted, penetrating finish and make the wine so exciting. Cropped at a mere 0.8 tons per acre from a steep hillside vineyard that's trained on stakes à la Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie, this was matured in neutral oak, with the exception of one second-fill puncheon that was eliminated after the first racking, demonstrating that when it comes to new oak and Syrah, less is emphatically more. Having seen this vineyard and tasted this wine, any skepticism that its eye-watering price might elicit is immediately dispelled. (WK) Inner quote mark (6/2018)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark From Christophe Baron and the team at Cayuse, the 2015 Syrah is only the second vintage from this steep, rocky vineyard located south of the town of Milton-Freewater, in the North Fork of the Walla Walla River. Despite coming from a different terroir than the Rocks region, it certainly has some classic gaminess that’s common from that region. Blackcurrants, bloody meats, ground pepper, lavender, and exotic spices all emerge from the glass, and it needs lots of air time to show at its best. Inner quote mark (4/2018)

96 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Intense bacon fat, peppery nuances and some deep, meaty notes, too. Smoky and intense, this is the most unique Syrah that Baron is making. A sweep of wild mountain herbs also on offer. The density is striking; it has the power of Hermitage, yet with intense complexity and savoriness that is all Walla Walla. Super intense and deeply flavored with a big hit of dark stones and graphite, wrapped around dark plums and blackberries. This shows such strong potential and will be fascinating, once the vines are older. Inner quote mark (4/2019)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark The domaine name means “without category,” and it is no doubt apt. The nose offers compelling notes of ember, olive tapenade, blackberry bush, flowers, ham hock, broken rock and smoke. The palate is full, rich and layered, showing an impeccable sense of balance and structure that carries through the extremely long, salty, meaty, smoky, tapenade-filled finish. A profound wine, with a long life in front of it. *Cellar Selection* (SS) Inner quote mark (12/2018)

95 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Bright medium red. Hints of roasted fruits, smoked meat, bacon fat and brown spices on the nose, plus a note of cold ash. Then wonderfully savory and energetic on the palate, conveying an uncanny light touch to its dense flavors of red berries, charred meat, spices and salty minerality. Like a fruit syrup in its mouthfeel but not at all outsized or heavy. Finishes with building tannins that saturate the tongue. This is hard to scrape off the palate. If the extraordinary 2014 bottling was Hermitage-like, this one is more akin to a Côte-Rôtie from the Côte Brune. (ST) Inner quote mark (11/2018)

94 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Boldly expressive and rich with personality, offering smoky peppered meat, black raspberry and stony mineral flavors that take on dimension toward polished tannins. (TF) Inner quote mark (4/2019)

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Price: $329.99

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