2017 Cayuse Syrah En Cerise Vineyard

Year: 2017
Appellation: Walla Walla
Country: USA-Washington
Jeb Dunnuck: 98
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.3%
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"The 2017 Syrah En Cerise Vineyard is cut from the same cloth as the Cailloux Vineyard release, yet is a slightly darker, meatier wine, offering a Jamet-like bouquet of blackberries, ground pepper, black olive, bloody meat, crushed rocks, and violets. Showing less overt funkiness and just a stunningly pure, elegant, medium to full-bodied Syrah, it has silky tannins, a great spine of acidity, and a great, great finish. Drink it any time over the coming two decades or more. It’s hard to say if this will surpass the 2016, 2008, and 2007, but it’s certainly in the same ballpark.

The 2017s from Christophe Baron show the more elegant, balanced style of the vintage nicely while still showing plenty of depth and concentration. These are singular, gorgeous wines that could come from nowhere else." (JD)

Winery Notes:
The Stones hold the secret:
Perhaps you’ve heard the almost mythical story, how the brash, young French vigneron visited the then little-known town if Walla Walla Wash., and fell in love with a few acres of seemingly useless, stone-covered farmland. While the nay-sayers nayed, Christophe Baron deftly turned that field of stones into the acclaimed Cayuse Vineyards. And the rest, as they say, is history—and a whole lot of spectacular wine.

Cayuse is a domaine located in the Walla Walla Valley. Over the past 20 years, Christophe has made it his mission to craft food-friendly wines of incredible depth, individuality and character—all from fruit grown entirely using biodynamic farming methods.

En Cerise Vineyard-Literally translated, it means cherry appropriate since this 10-acre vineyard planted in 1998 was a cherry orchard in its former life. En Cerise Vineyard Syrah and grapes for the Flying Pig and Camaspelo Bordeaux blends are grown here.

THE 2016:
99 Points. The 2016 Syrah En Cerise Vineyard is another winner (best to date?), showing an incredibly bloody, iron quality as well as beautiful purity in its bright cherry, blackberries, violets, pork fat, and acacia flower aromas and flavors. Seamless, silky, gorgeous, and perfectly balanced, it’s another heavenly wine from Baron that’s going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and cruise for 10-15. —Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com

97 Points. This wine displays an overt sense of funkiness out of the gate, with the rest of the aromas not entirely ready to reveal their charms. Charcuterie board, green peppercorn, asparagus, fresh tobacco, ashtray and soot notes emerge over time. Full, dense-feeling black olive and other savory flavors follow. The intensity on the finish is commanding, and it lasts for a solid minute. It's an exclamation point. —Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast

94 Points. This has quite an austere edge of savory, dark stones and spices with a core of fresh black cherries and blackberries. The palate has the same mix of stones and pepper and the tannins are assertive yet fine, carrying plenty of dark berries and plums in a contained, gently stony brand of tannin. Give this some time in bottle. —James Suckling, jamessuckling.com