Cayuse Vineyards and Latest Idea

By / Wine + Drinks / September 7th, 2010 / 1

ChristopheAndZeppo-1

Cayuse Vineyards, the first biodynamic winery in Washington, has just released its Cayuse 2007 Cailloux Syrah in a 3-pak. This novel marketing idea is in response to wine lovers’ tendency to buy one bottle to drink now and one or two others to cellar for future enjoyment. Voilà, now you can buy three bottles right away without fearing that the product will be entirely sold out by the time you get back to the liquor store. Winemaker Christophe Baron (in the photo with Zeppo) is committed to farming without fertilizers, chemicals, insecticides or fungicides. The vineyard is actually ploughed by two horses. “Mistreating the earth kills the terroir, and you end up with soils that are sick or dead,” Christophe believes. “It’s a foundation you have to protect.”

Jeff Bistritan and Daun Bailey, wine agents and owners of Barrel Select, asked Christophe, “What’s a crazy French man doing in Walla Walla, Washington?” “Romancing the stones of course,” he said. It was there that Christophe found his field, littered with acres of softball-sized stones, a long way from his hometown in the village of Charly-sur-Marne in the Champagne region of France. “I almost fell on my derrière when I saw those stones. And I’ve been living the dream ever since. Those stones are the reason I’m here in Walla Walla, It’s certainly not for the night life!”

The Cailloux Syrah  comes from a 10-acre plot, planted in 1997. It continues to score in the 90s, vintage after vintage. Wine Spectator gives the 2007 Cayuse Vyd Syrah 95 Points.

Read more about Cayuse and other biodynamic wineries in Tod Stewart’s odyssey from British Columbia to Oregon, “Sustainable, Organic, Biodynamic Hooray”

Tasting Note
Bursting with stony minerality, licorice, blueberries, plummy sweetness, and caressed by a whisper of truffle, this wine is rich, dark, and intense. Powerful stuff. There’s also some of that funky Rhone-y stuff going on, too, letting you know a French man made this wine.

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