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Cayuse Vineyards Grenache God Only Knows 2009, 750mL (WA95, ST93) from The BPW - Merchants of rare and fine wines.

Cayuse Vineyards Grenache God Only Knows

750mL

Vintage: 2009
Region: US
Appellation: Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley

WA95, ST93
Rated 95 points by the Wine Advocate: `The Cayuse 2009 Grenache Armada Vineyard God Only Knows (named for the otherwise unspecified roughly 10% share of this that he claims isn`t Grenache) was cropped at only a ton and a half per acre (ca. 20 hectoliters per hectare) because, as Baron puts it, `we are struggling every year just to get Grenache ripe. But we love it for the challenge,` he hastens to add. `Even a monkey can make a great Syrah, but Grenache , We`ve got 7 acres of this grape now,` compared with more or less 25 of Syrah, he reports, commenting: `You`ve got to be crazy!` Fresh strawberry and elderberry are tinged with birch bark extract, black tea, and basil, making for an aromatically intriguing and lip-smacking palate presence. An upwelling of beef marrow and a Syrah- (or Gewurztraminer-) like hint of smoked meat add to the wine`s saliva-inducing savor. Here is a really vivid illustration of how the best Washington wines offer nearly luxuriant richness and sweet berry intensity but at the same time exhilarating vibrancy and lift. And, true to Baron`s repeatedly stated intentions, there are - beyond salt, stone, and smoky aura of black tea - elements impinging on this wine`s superbly sustained finish that can only be called `mineral,` even if one can`t find further words for them. I suspect this will be worth following for at least a decade. Incidentally, the wine was vinified in concrete and then aged in demi-muids plus one concrete egg. Apropos controlling alcohol and enhancing ripe flavors (for more on which, see my winery introduction), this beauty clocked in at what - in comparison with other recent vintages - counts as a modest 14.3%, despite its warm growing season; yet as you can tell from my description, there`s nothing under-ripe about its performance!` -- Reviewed by David SchildknechtAdditional Notes from Robert Parker`s Wine Advocate: `Just as the cobbled soils around Milton-Freewater captivated Champenois Christophe Baron`s imagination on what he calls `a fateful April morning in 1996,` so the 100% estate-bottled wines he has grown in them since have amazed and inspired oenophiles to the extent of creating a veritable cult. `I`m here because of the rocks,` says Baron, who, although he loved the Rhone as much as he did Burgundy, was at the time planning to grow Pinot in the Willamette Valley, `and because I just happened to open a book and show a friend in Walla Walla what vineyards look like in Chateauneuf. ?I know where we have rocks like that,` he told me, and I said: ?Take me there tomorrow!`` `The only way to tell how deep` the striking carpet of stones in his vineyards extends, says Baron `is to go down a well.` Baron - who emphasizes that he is conservative but at the same time scientifically rigorous about when and how much water to drip onto his vines - was one of the few Washington growers I met who spoke about, much less offered some specifics regarding root penetration. `In the summer - after crop-thinning (is done) and the (bird) nets are on, we get bored, so we rent a backhoe and we dig holes. And by the third leaf (i.e. year) the roots are already ten feet down.` Laura Pursley - who assists Baron in the vineyards (her fellow `assistant vigneronne` and counterpart in the `wine studio` - Baron`s name for his facility - is Elizabeth Bourcier) - notes that `opposite to what you`d think, it`s our sites with the highest clay content, with a bit more soil and less rock, that dry-out soonest.` From the inception of Cayuse, Baron commenced the painstaking work of generating his own vine selection from the clonally monotonous Syrah and Grenache material then available. From 2000 on, he has been taking advantage of the new diversity of clones available stateside and begun grafting these onto rootstock, explaining `I believe that sooner or later phylloxera will make its way to Washington.` Baron`s most recent plantings of up to 4,840 vines per acre are, he believes, as high-density as any in North America and are horse-tilled, typically eight times a year. `That`s how to get fruit ripe at lower brix; get unbelievable (tannic) structure; and unlock the gates of terroir,` he opines (offering elucidation I won`t detail on this occasion). Farming biodynamically since 2002, Baron`s approach - which involves 25 full-time staff, one person per hectare - appears as labor-intensive and detail-attentive as I have encountered anywhere in the world. The inaugural, 2011 Syrah from The Tribe - his ultra-densely-planted latest vineyard - is bound to attract intense scrutiny and devotion, and I suppose there is no point in withholding my opinion, based on tasting it from barrel in March and July, that both will be deserved. Another self-described `epiphany` of Baron`s while bicycling into the Blue Mountain foothills in 2004 led to his latest vineyard start-up. `A little heaven,` he calls it - with the Walla Walla River rippling by; pastureland for his beloved vegetables and animals (some participants in biodynamics; some destined for the table); and vertiginous rocky slopes with vines trained to stakes (en echalas), make it the image of Cote Rotie. He unabashedly says he intends to make this `one of America`s jewels in terms of viticulture; that every American wine aficionado knows; and a place I can be proud of. After this, I`ll have nothing to prove.` First crop: next year. I`ll have more to say on another occasion (as well as in certain of my tasting notes in this report) about the approach Baron and Bourcier take in the cellar, but a critical part of the big picture is his announcement that `This year is it: I`ve bought my last barrique` used or new. The result - even with Baron`s wines based on Bordelais cepages - will be a regimen consisting of fermentation in wooden foudre or concrete tank and elevage in 600-liter demi-muids supplemented by foudre. And a trend begun already five or six years ago will continue: toward utilizing decreasing percentages of new oak. `There was a trend - especially in Washington and California - toward all new barrels` from the most fashionable couple of tonneliers, notes Baron, `but what we found out is, the new wood dries out the wine.` (`Well, duh!` would have to be my own smart-ass reply.) `And,` adds Bourcier, `we`ve found that a wine can go quite quickly from well-balanced to overly oaky and drying, which is why we often take them out of barrel early,` i.e. well ahead of bottling. (Notes on Baron`s small-volume project known as No Girls will be found under that name, as it refers to a self-standing winery.)`


$107.00

$96.30

OUT OF STOCK
Read CellarTracker Wine Reviews

Cayuse Vineyards Grenache God Only Knows

750mL

Vintage: 2009
Region: US
Appellation: Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley

WA95, ST93
Rated 95 points by the Wine Advocate: `The Cayuse 2009 Grenache Armada Vineyard God Only Knows (named for the otherwise unspecified roughly 10% share of this that he claims isn`t Grenache) was cropped at only a ton and a half per acre (ca. 20 hectoliters per hectare) because, as Baron puts it, `we are struggling every year just to get Grenache ripe. But we love it for the challenge,` he hastens to add. `Even a monkey can make a great Syrah, but Grenache , We`ve got 7 acres of this grape now,` compared with more or less 25 of Syrah, he reports, commenting: `You`ve got to be crazy!` Fresh strawberry and elderberry are tinged with birch bark extract, black tea, and basil, making for an aromatically intriguing and lip-smacking palate presence. An upwelling of beef marrow and a Syrah- (or Gewurztraminer-) like hint of smoked meat add to the wine`s saliva-inducing savor. Here is a really vivid illustration of how the best Washington wines offer nearly luxuriant richness and sweet berry intensity but at the same time exhilarating vibrancy and lift. And, true to Baron`s repeatedly stated intentions, there are - beyond salt, stone, and smoky aura of black tea - elements impinging on this wine`s superbly sustained finish that can only be called `mineral,` even if one can`t find further words for them. I suspect this will be worth following for at least a decade. Incidentally, the wine was vinified in concrete and then aged in demi-muids plus one concrete egg. Apropos controlling alcohol and enhancing ripe flavors (for more on which, see my winery introduction), this beauty clocked in at what - in comparison with other recent vintages - counts as a modest 14.3%, despite its warm growing season; yet as you can tell from my description, there`s nothing under-ripe about its performance!` -- Reviewed by David SchildknechtAdditional Notes from Robert Parker`s Wine Advocate: `Just as the cobbled soils around Milton-Freewater captivated Champenois Christophe Baron`s imagination on what he calls `a fateful April morning in 1996,` so the 100% estate-bottled wines he has grown in them since have amazed and inspired oenophiles to the extent of creating a veritable cult. `I`m here because of the rocks,` says Baron, who, although he loved the Rhone as much as he did Burgundy, was at the time planning to grow Pinot in the Willamette Valley, `and because I just happened to open a book and show a friend in Walla Walla what vineyards look like in Chateauneuf. ?I know where we have rocks like that,` he told me, and I said: ?Take me there tomorrow!`` `The only way to tell how deep` the striking carpet of stones in his vineyards extends, says Baron `is to go down a well.` Baron - who emphasizes that he is conservative but at the same time scientifically rigorous about when and how much water to drip onto his vines - was one of the few Washington growers I met who spoke about, much less offered some specifics regarding root penetration. `In the summer - after crop-thinning (is done) and the (bird) nets are on, we get bored, so we rent a backhoe and we dig holes. And by the third leaf (i.e. year) the roots are already ten feet down.` Laura Pursley - who assists Baron in the vineyards (her fellow `assistant vigneronne` and counterpart in the `wine studio` - Baron`s name for his facility - is Elizabeth Bourcier) - notes that `opposite to what you`d think, it`s our sites with the highest clay content, with a bit more soil and less rock, that dry-out soonest.` From the inception of Cayuse, Baron commenced the painstaking work of generating his own vine selection from the clonally monotonous Syrah and Grenache material then available. From 2000 on, he has been taking advantage of the new diversity of clones available stateside and begun grafting these onto rootstock, explaining `I believe that sooner or later phylloxera will make its way to Washington.` Baron`s most recent plantings of up to 4,840 vines per acre are, he believes, as high-density as any in North America and are horse-tilled, typically eight times a year. `That`s how to get fruit ripe at lower brix; get unbelievable (tannic) structure; and unlock the gates of terroir,` he opines (offering elucidation I won`t detail on this occasion). Farming biodynamically since 2002, Baron`s approach - which involves 25 full-time staff, one person per hectare - appears as labor-intensive and detail-attentive as I have encountered anywhere in the world. The inaugural, 2011 Syrah from The Tribe - his ultra-densely-planted latest vineyard - is bound to attract intense scrutiny and devotion, and I suppose there is no point in withholding my opinion, based on tasting it from barrel in March and July, that both will be deserved. Another self-described `epiphany` of Baron`s while bicycling into the Blue Mountain foothills in 2004 led to his latest vineyard start-up. `A little heaven,` he calls it - with the Walla Walla River rippling by; pastureland for his beloved vegetables and animals (some participants in biodynamics; some destined for the table); and vertiginous rocky slopes with vines trained to stakes (en echalas), make it the image of Cote Rotie. He unabashedly says he intends to make this `one of America`s jewels in terms of viticulture; that every American wine aficionado knows; and a place I can be proud of. After this, I`ll have nothing to prove.` First crop: next year. I`ll have more to say on another occasion (as well as in certain of my tasting notes in this report) about the approach Baron and Bourcier take in the cellar, but a critical part of the big picture is his announcement that `This year is it: I`ve bought my last barrique` used or new. The result - even with Baron`s wines based on Bordelais cepages - will be a regimen consisting of fermentation in wooden foudre or concrete tank and elevage in 600-liter demi-muids supplemented by foudre. And a trend begun already five or six years ago will continue: toward utilizing decreasing percentages of new oak. `There was a trend - especially in Washington and California - toward all new barrels` from the most fashionable couple of tonneliers, notes Baron, `but what we found out is, the new wood dries out the wine.` (`Well, duh!` would have to be my own smart-ass reply.) `And,` adds Bourcier, `we`ve found that a wine can go quite quickly from well-balanced to overly oaky and drying, which is why we often take them out of barrel early,` i.e. well ahead of bottling. (Notes on Baron`s small-volume project known as No Girls will be found under that name, as it refers to a self-standing winery.)`


$107.00

$96.30

OUT OF STOCK
Read CellarTracker Wine Reviews





 

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Similar wines from this varietal & region

This list represents wines that are very similar (for a variety of reasons) to the wine you are currently considering. They exhibit similar characteristics and share other traits (such as varietal, price, and professional ratings). There are some very cool things here - take a look - and as always feel free to contact us directly for questions!

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