2009 Cayuse Armada Syrah - 98 pts - 750ml

2009 Cayuse Armada Syrah - 98 pts - 750ml

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2009 Cayuse Armada Syrah - 98 pts

Perhaps you’ve heard the almost mythical story, how the brash, young French Vigneron visited the then little-known town called Walla Walla, 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.

Christophe purchased the property and planted his first vineyard in the Stones of the Walla Walla Valley on March 21, 1997. “People said I was crazy, that I’d break my equipment and waste my time and money,” he recalls. “But I knew that vines need to struggle in difficult ground in order to provide their best.” 

He called the venture Cayuse Vineyards, after a Native American tribe
whose name was derived from the French word “cailloux”—which means “stones.” In the following years, it has grown to five vineyards, encompassing a little more than 47 acres.

What was considered by many a foolish gamble on that field of stones has been rewarded year after year with some of the most acclaimed wines in the region—and in the nation.

      


Product Details

Varietal Syrah
Vintage 2009
Rating 98 RP
Bottle Size 750 ml
Bottle Quantity 1
Country USA
Region Washington
Location Columbia Valley
Producer Cayuse Vineyards
Color Red
Wine Type Table

Robert Parker

Rating 98 RP - From his high-density 2001 planting, Baron's 2009 Syrah Armada Vineyard leads with a high-toned, penetrating nose that one can scarcely avoid calling Cote Rotie-like: bacon fat, fresh cherry, kirsch, framboise, and violet. But there are also black tea, caramel, and a penetrating note of sealing wax that's reminiscent of mature Bordeaux. Around one quarter of the 600-liter barrels in which this was raised (following fermentation in a mixture of cement and wood) were new. Dense, fine-grained but more evident tannins than in most of the present collection appear on a palate whose savory salinity and saliva-inducement, however, are utterly Cayuesque. The interplay of flavors here is kaleidoscopic and at the same time almost eye-squintingly bright. What's more, as the wine opens to the air, a real layering and interplay emerges of diverse carnal elements alone: smoked meat, game, bloody roasted red meat, marrow and bone meal. This Syrah's phenomenal sense of energy as well as of sheer, sappy, expansive presence, make for a finish whose vibratory intensity shakes-up my entire mouth. A truly awesome effort, it will surely be worth following for at least 15 years, though I've a hunch "without knowing how Baron" earliest wines (which were surely different in important respects anyway) have matured – that it will reward for significantly longer. (And if you wonder what Baron can do for an encore to such a performance, just sit tight for a year or two!) I'm relieved I didn't consider it necessary to score this wine any higher, otherwise I'd have left no room to express symbolically that the best is yet to come. RP

Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator

Burghound

Burghound

Winery Details

Varietal Syrah
Vintage 2009
Rating 98 RP
Bottle Size 750 ml
Bottle Quantity 1
Country USA
Region Washington
Location Columbia Valley
Producer Cayuse Vineyards
Color Red
Wine Type Table

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