Very similar to my previous tasting four years ago. Expressive Cayuse nose of green olive tapenade, corned beef, briney/salty, and now with a strong note of crushed black pepper. Others at the table guessed it was Northern Rhone. Like before the finish was long and layered, with multiple waves of fine tannin and black fruit.
This was hot when first opened and needed an hour-plus in the decanter to settle.
Had over two nights. The first was good, and the second even better. The nose is amazing, with a US barnyard. A huge hit of fruit - cranberry and raspberry. Somehow pure. The nose changed constantly, getting darker and earthier. I just kept on sniffing. A medium body, with more bright red fruit. The finish was sooo long. It was really sip and then living the taste forever. A really wonderful wine. Cayuse has become one of my favorite US wines bar none.
Decanted about 4 hours. The nose changed several times over this period. Funk out of the bottle. Almost had a sweaty locker room taste but then developed in to chocolate & caramel, to coffee, to old smoke and on and on. Flavors on the mouth were definitely different than anything we ever tasted, but all in a good way. Finish never stopped. Smooth and tasty, we wish we had more.
Tasted blind; double-decanted over the course of a day. Somewhat cloudy red. Strong freshly-ground coffee on the nose with secondary notes of old campfire, road tar, and rubber - really an extraordinary and complex bouquet. Smoke and coffee on the front and mid-palate. Delicious but weird, with a finish that goes on forever and a general spicy note. Very interesting.
Popped and poured after 30 min. Couldn't wait to try. Agree with the funk nose comments, and the fact that the smoky qualities that were present a few years ago are more restrained now. It was funny to hear comments from those who've not tasted before... "that's so different" " Tastes like ham?" "What's that aromatic herby smell??" -- Together, we all agreed this is a special wine. Lots of depth and meaty qualities that make it somewhat unique for an American wine. More Northern Rhone like that most. Smooth on the palate. Fruit is dark, with lots of great flavor. Will do my best to hold onto the others I have... this is just so much fun to drink!
Paired perfectly with lamb burgers topped with sautéed fennel and guacamole. En Chamb always brings the funk and the label should have a pic of George Clinton on it. Veggie funk, unsweetened chocolate, meat, blood, charred earth, and fresh herbs. No hurry to drink up but in a great spot now.
Decanted 3 hrs. When I last had this in 2010, this was a pretty intense, in your face wine, even by Cayuse standards. Though it is always a matter of personal preference with these wines, the additional 5 years of bottle age has certainly mellowed the wild beast; less overt smoky blackberry fruit, more of a pronounced mineral edge, trademark low acidity, but exquisite structure and balance. A distinct note of fresh vanilla bean emerged on the mid palate, and while surprising, it was by no means over done or cloying, unusual though. Still, a very complex and cerebral wine, I’m guessing that while it will hold no real reason to age further.
Decanted. Immediate Cayuse funk on the nose, lovely, meat, blood, animal, deep blackberry fruit, some smoke and tar, so complex. More of the same on the palate, very smooth, yet juicy and with mild tannins, ripe blackberry and dark cherry fruit, huge long finish. One of the best bottles of wine I have ever tasted. Equal top score. Absolutely delicious.
valentine's day. white anchovies app, Caesar's salad, sauteed calamari in homemade pasta with pesto. The Cayuse, nose of barnyard funk, palate of the same with dark currant, leathery, Perla said some clay. full body. Pure Cayuse and wonderful. Can't wait until tomorrow to finish it off. Opened bottle and let sit 1 - 2 hours, did not decant. Probably OK to p&p also. Good bottle time.
No rating because I was not in love with this wine. It certainly is rich and extracted, good secondary flavors of spice and tar but it just didn't "wow" me like I expected since it gets such high praise and ratings.
At dinner with '04 Bonny's Vineyard. This completely overshadowed it. The color was dark garnet, completely opaque. The nose extremely pronounced and complex, of smoke, leather, earth, typical of Northern Rhone's best. Very concentrated and full-bodied, but incredibly smooth, balanced, viscous, and rich. Dark berry flavors with smoky, earthy notes. Very long aftertaste, only a slight hint of tannin on the aftertaste. This is perhaps our favorite Cayuse syrah, remarkable and consistent every time we've had it. Perfectly drinkable now, but should hold another few years. It won't get any better, though! Ric
Gave it an hour in the decanter before trying. On the nose there's a lot of funk, with tobacco, blue fruits and minerality. On the palate it's a tour de force of rich savory blue and black fruits with an unctuous/umami characteristic that can be so prominent in top northern Rhone and in the best Walla Walla ("Rocks" area) wines, of which this is one. Smooth, rich, savory and lengthy; it doesn't get much better than this.
Funkadelic and tight. Black and blue fruit, spice and slight oak, veggies, smoke, olive, and peppered meat. Matched nicely with lamb Ragu. Enjoyable but I'm giving my other bottle a few years of sleep before I open.
Uncorked at 3, decanted at 6, drank at 10. Uniquely funky Cayuse above the glass with floral notes quickly swallowed up by iron, blood, macerated sour cherries and blackberries. This wine does not integrate it's alcohol as well as previous experiences. It hits you in the mid-palate, that you are drinking a high alcohol wine. Finish lacks focus, and again, succumbs to the alcohol. It is a beautiful wine, but unfortunately has to contend with the expectations that Christophe has imbued in us.
7th anniversary @ Tacoma El Gaucho. Short decant while we consumed soup with a rose' bubbly; after sticking my nose in the glass I couldn't wait any longer. Roasted meats & campfire wood bouquet. Luxurious, sexy silky ambrosia in my mouth ... the standard smoke/meats/ash Cayuse profile ... yet the singularity & purity on this go somehow made it more special than ever before. Absolutely brilliant.
Deep garnet-purple, totally opaque. Black fruits, smoke, anise, mocha aroma, complex and very pronounced. Full-bodied but perfectly balanced, viscous and mouth-coating. Deep cassis, smoke, prominent licorice and French oak flavors, increasing intensity over a minute. Very prominent finish, with licorice the last component to disappear. Slight heat on the finish as well. Just about perfect! Very drinkable now, will easily last years and may even gain complexity. Ric
Opened and decanted 2 hrs before drinking. Very dark color, the aroma jumps from the glass. This one is definitely in the funky category. It was a polarizing wine for the group - half loved it and half hated it (I was in the first half). One thing that stood out for me was how precise the wine was on the palate. The acidity was perfect for the abundance of extraction and the alcohol level. Hard to guess how it will age, but it is absolutely delicious now.
My first bottle of Cayuse but I've had Proper prior to this one. Notes are very similar at the outset - bacon fat, olives, smoked meat, blood. However, I did find a new descriptor with this bottle - Belgian ale.
Good balance of acidity to keep the wine fresh and keep the tannin in check.
As the bottle opened up in the decanter, I start to get more plum and cherry notes on the palate - an nice surprise to mix up the myriad of funk flavors. With time, the finish of the wine also lengthened and grew richer.
Decanted for 6 hours plus. Extremely strange and unique even for Cayuse standards. Thick tannish purple coloring. One of the biggest noses I have ever encountered. A colossal fragrance of smoked meat, salami, dirty mushrooms, black fruit, truffle, and most of all Washington FUNK. Midsection is disturbingly muted. The only way to describe it is flat. The blue/black fruit in the finish is long and smooth but also lacks intensity. Best to hold a few years as it appears to be in a dormant stage.
See more detail at http://maximumsatisfaction.tumblr.com/post/44418250419
Decanted for ~1 hour. Deliciously layered with olive tapenade, smoky rubber, cured meats, blueberry, black tart compote, and a hint of forest floor. Sweet, integrated tannins with a long, sumptuous finish. An extraordinary bottle of WA Syrah.
Opened and decanted for 4+ hours - initially this was very disjointed, vegetal and frankly, pretty bad. Vacu-vinned, and revisited several days later. The wine underwent an amazing transformation - black olive tapenade, some peat, and black fruit arose from the glass - long, smooth finish and quite tasty.
I won't touch my next one for a couple of years, or decant for 24+ hours.
In comparison to a 2004 bottling I had a few months ago, I thought the 07' left a bit to be desired. Turns out my sweet spot for Cayuse lay around the 7-8 year mark, and my worry that five years was a bit too soon, turned out to be true. All the wild components I love about Cayuse were there (green olives, cedar, bacon), but none of them seemed to blend as beautifully as they would have with a few more years under its belt. The fruit was all black and blue, and the acidity was there in equal parts to its plush profile. Enjoyable with beef stroganoff, but would wait at least two more years if I had to do it all over again.
An introduction to Washington State red wines (My house): Unlike the 2005, which took a few hours to strut its stuff, this 2007 was rockin' right out of the gate. Initially got green olives, iodine, briney/salty seaweed, corned beef, crushed rock minerality, and that musty wet fur thing. A few who arrived early got a pre-dinner sample and the aromatics were crazy. This mellowed considerably throughout the evening and by the fourth or fifth hour at least half of the funk had blown off, leaving a more conventional black fruit driven syrah. The finish on this was long and layered with a firmer and more interesting backbone than the 2005.
What a difference 18 months makes . . . I really enjoyed it this time. Similar aromas as last time but seemed more in balance . . . funky, earthy, raw meat aromas with very lush palate and nice tannins and acidity. One of the better syrah's I've had in a long time. Definitely more Cote Rotie but with the California mouthfeel. Awesome.
What a great bottle of wine that was. Consumed over two nights, amazing show of the "Cayuse perfume" with Olive tapenade, bacon fat, and boysenberry fruit. Palate was typical with that oily/smoky feel, more fruit and night two showing some serious funk on the palate. Great bottle of wine with many years ahead of it.
Drank a couple months ago. Many other peoples notes are accurate with dark fruit, cocoa,meat,tea, iron, but I can't believe nobody else is picking up sauerkraut. This is the 2nd vintage that I've tried of this vineyard and both times sauerkraut was distinctly noticeable. Super velvety and has a long life ahead of it. I won't touch my other on for at least 5 - 7 years.
Absolutely magnificent. One of the best Cayuse I have ever had. The nose was killer - tobacco, game, red fruits. The taste was absoutely as smooth as silk - very much in the Cote Rotie image. Absolutel killer juice that exceeded my expectations.
Absurd nose of blood, iron, animal fur (aka funk) you could smell this puppy from a mile away. The palate seemed more Cote Rotie tonight with stem and meatiness and good minerality. Bright acidity and some tannins.
Day 2: The wine started off with the following nose: Road tar, wet socks, basil, some eucalyptus and some wet loam. THe first sip had none of the nose and was all gorgeous fruit. Cassis, roasted raspberry, black cherry and some kirsch. Great acidity, strong backbone and harmonious mouth feel. Fabulous.
I let thtis breath for about an hour but it needed more time. It is still wound tight. It had the classic road tar, tobacco and earthiness on the nose followed by bright acidity and gorgeous fruit - dark raspberry, black cherry and some plum. By the end of the glass, the fruit stepped in front of the other flavors. There was a meaty component withthe fruit that gave it length and depth. I will revisit the other half of the bottle tonight. I think with more air or time, this will be even better.
Notes from day 2. Dark purple to black color. Nose of black raspberry, tons of violets, seared meat, bacon fat, black olive, brine, wet fur, some coffee grounds. Palate of blackberry, blueberry, leather, bacon, blood, coffee grounds, crushed rock, with dark baker's chocolate lingering on the tail end. Finish was really long in length, with really nice mouthfeel, and good acidity noted. Overall the wine was amazing as the Chamberlin is usually our fav, great complexity to go with all the intense flavors. So glad I am no this list as the secondary prices are getting absurd these days. Hold: 50+5+13+19+9
The nose is diffictult to describe in its complexity. I drank a half of a bottle in about 3 hours. At first, all bacon fat and oak. Over time, it threw crushed black pepper, intensely ripe berries, mocha, leather, BBQ pork, at times reminded me of Into the Dark on the nose on and off grilled vegetables. The palate tasted almost like tomato soup on pop and pour but after some swirling the tomato notes went away to reveal some salinity, grilled vegetables, raw beef, black pepper, ash, and some oak. There is some fruit in there as well but who cares? This is one of the most interesting wines Ive ever had. The texture is thick and unctuous. These is significant grip in the long finish. Wow.
When first decanted, it was pure bacon fat on the nose. After a couple of hours in the decanter, it was splashed back into the bottle, taken to dinner, and back into a decanter. Nose was gorgeous. A great crushed pepper, mocha, leather, and raw meat nose. Absolutely beautiful. There was a touch of blackberry and maybe some fig, but the others were the primary characteristics. The mouth was still tight and tannic, but the tannins are silky smooth. The fruit is present and lush. This wine will be an absolute rockstar in 3 - 5 years. Fantastic wine. Towards the end of the night (about 5 hours of being open), the nose was almost pure mocha / espresso. Gorgeous.
Beautiful wine. Had at Purple with Todd and Pam. Decanted 45 min and consumed over 3hrs. Gorgeous crazy nose right on opening with black cherries, herbs, meaty notes, coffee, and sweet spice. Seamless palate just super velvety with awesome purity of fruit. Not shy, but oh so well balanced, and despite its relative sweetness it worked very well with the food and was quite refreshing. Long finish echoes the sweet fruit for almost a minute. Count me a fan.
smig vs. the wine barn (the wine barn, orlando, fl): definitely not my usual style for syrah, but utterly profound in its uniqueness. the nose was all about wet animal fur, locker room, golf clothes after an afternoon round in august in florida, with some dense blackberries coming through. funky funky!!! the palate was incredibly full and round, with delicious concentration of fruit without coming across candied or excessive. the finish was long and decadent. this needs soooo much time in the cellar, and if it's your style i can see rating it close to 100 points.
Profound and cerebal, a thought provoking effort that offers a mass of smoke, pepper, green olives, slab bacon, and blue and black fruit aromas. Medium to full bodied, velvety textured with earth, tea, cured meat and dried black fruit flavors. Very Rhône-like, reminding me of Hermitage or even a modern-style Cornas.
Decanted 1.5 hours. Crazy nose -- never smelled anything like it -- animal fur, meaty, maybe a touch floral (one person also said fertilizer). Palate similar to the nose but not quite as complex -- tasted reduced, syrupy -- very nice mouthfeel though. Moderate tannins with low to moderate acidity -- pretty well balanced. No rating on this since it would range from 85 to 95 depending on who you asked. For me, it was not a wine I necessarily enjoyed but definitely appreciated -- would give this a high 80s for its uniqueness (seemed a bit like one of the funkier Carlisle Syrah's but 10X more intense).
Another Saturday at Knightsbridge - mostly blind (Northbrook, IL): Dense, meaty and ultra-concentrated black plum aromas and flavors, with some pronounced liqueur character as well as licorice and black pepper. Certainly well made, even if not my preferred style Syrah. Could almost be mistaken for a super ripe vintage/style Northern Rhone.
Saturday Tasting Group (Knightsbridge Wine Shop (Northbrook, IL)): One of my favorite wines in this style I've ever tasted. I LOVE Cayuse. So unique and individually styled it's remarkable. Super funky and really pugent intriguing aromas. Screaming of wet dog, damp earth, spice, pepper and lots of wood. Really yummy new oak. Sawdust and remarkable aromas of anise. Meaty, menthol, clay. The different smells that are coming from the glass are so well expressed it took me almost three minutes before I had my first sip. Though there was so much going on the wine wasn't over the top in style. It was masculine but the finish sported serious finesse. Completely balanced with nice acidity and firm tannins leading me to believe this wine will age gracefully for 15-20 years. Kudos to Christophe Baron.
Very enjoyable wine. More of an intellectual than a hedonistic experience. The nose is fascinating, unusual, thought-provoking, funky...maybe wouldn't describe the smell as "yummy"...but I keep wanting to smell it it's so different. Some descriptors in the other notes could be accurate...but every note that I read persuades me that that's what I'm smelling. Wet dog? I could see that. Bacon fat? Okay. Smoked meat? I get that. This wine really wins when it hits your palate. So seamless and smooth. Tannins are very well hidden...but I know they must be in there. Finish goes on for over a minute. Delicious and interesting...all rolled into one.
With all the "rave" reviews I had to pull the cork on a bottle of mine to see if I was missing something. I think what it boils down to is this is a very stylistic wine.
Color: Deep violet with a lavender rim
Smell: Coffee, mocha, a mineral presence that reminds me of the smell of a brook stream as it washes over the rocks, leather, violets, and the salty ocean air.
Taste: Blackberries, blueberries, black cherries, licorice, dark chocolate, bloody meat or the tart presence of iron after biting your own tongue.
Overall: A wonderfully complex wine that has a lot to offer given some time sideways. I don't honestly think I'll be opening this wine for another 10 years if I can control myself. Yes...I think it will last that long, and yes, I believe it will continue to improve with time. There is a basic and primal character to this wine...and I think I can finally say I understand these wines and the passion that so many people have for them. However, at the present markup in the secondary market...I do not think they are worth their fetching price. I'll stick with the Reynvaan wines for half the price...
Pleasure is drinking another man's Cayuse! My main man, Rico, was generous enough to bring this by to polish off one Friday night. As usual, it didn't disappoint. A little lighter in color than normal, but no less punch. Tamed down aromas of red cabbage, sour pickles, beef jerky, meat, and even some blackberries and raspberries. Not tamed down in a normal person's sense but tamed down for a typical En Chamberlin syrah. Dare I say a tad more refined than its beastly predecessors. Suprisingly lush in the mouth with layers of concentrated dark fruit and chocolate. The gaminess and savory qualitites were pushed toward the edges, which made for a seamless transition to the lip smacking finish. While approachable and fantastic now, this wine will certainly get better with a few years of lay down time. 95pts.
Wine Club (Bowling Green, OH): Wow, this is one unique wine. This has personality in spades. On the nose, gym sock leads, with some bacon, poop and barnyard thrown in for good measure. On the palate, more of the same, with black fruit but not at all overripe. Has some of the Northern Rhone style, but with a definite new world twist.
Cayuse- always a unique experience. Started out with a solid wet dog fur, green olives, and dark fruits. After an hour or so, red fruits replaced the darker matter. A mixture of dried maraschino cherries, sour strawberry, and still the green olive.
Classic Cayuse on the nose, combining wet animal fur and smoky black fruit with the dreaded tell tale note of the En Chamberlin Funk. The palate sings a slightly different tune and is surprisingly open and lush for such a youngster. Almost spherical, the taste of of the Syrah essence is very consistent from start to end; while the acidity is its very typically low self for this prodcuer, an invisible component, 'a dark matter' if you will, provides serious structure and backbone, but is very difficult to articulate with words. Though the Bionic frog seems to reap the freakishly big scores from the critics, I've always felt the EC was its qualitative equal, and this vintage is no exception.
Decanted roughly 1/2 hour. Intense purple-red color but not opaque. Utterly profound, brooding nose of eucalyptus, bacon, black olives, red clay, beets, black currants and wet stones, all of which were balanced and complimentary. Simply massive in the mouth but not at all heavy with intense ripe fruit, tar and tobacco flavors dominant. The tarry, fruity finish was as intense as the bouquet and the palate, lasting at least sixty seconds. This wine was simply amazing in its intensity without heaviness, power without weight, and sheer volume. The finish suggests that it will last but, if it doesn't shut down, it is extraordinary right now, so why wait. Accompanied yet another fabulous dinner at Lark in Seattle. Purchased from the wine list.
Nose was amazing with Black olives, bacon fat, sauerkraut, espresso. minerals with cayuse funk. Damn this wine smelled good! The palate has a anise oil, deep roast coffee. dark chocolate (90% cacao), black olives, dust and dark fruit. Phenomonal as always.
Barrel sample. Very shy on the nose but after 5 minutes of aggressive swirling I finally coaxed out some of the traditonal En Chamberlin funk. Stinky cheese and sour cabbage! Good depth and intensity of fruit. Usually my favorite bottling. 93-95 pts.