Cayuse Vineyard Visit/Tour

June 29th, the day we visited Cayuse Vineyards for a tour.

We, being a group of Canadians plus one American on a Bio Dynamic Workshop setup by John of Marquis Wine Cellars and Brad Cooper who works for Township 7 and has his own label now Black Cloud, a Pinot Noir label. Philippe Armenier led the workshop which started a day before at Hedges Vineyard, but that is a post for another day.

The first thing that stands out is the Terrior,"galets roules", and here is a direct quote from the website "Experts on the terroir of Cayuse vineyards describe vine roots snaking through an accumulation of cobblestones of varying sizes, a layer hundreds of feet thick in places. This soil, called “Freewater very cobbly loam,” sits atop 10,000 feet or more of pure basalt"  And the wines, they do show power, and with the wine making skill finese. I remember scoffing at the Grenache based wine that he made, thinking Grenache in Walla Walla, then you enter Walla Walla its like the Okanagan but warmer less water to cool it, and then his vineyard with the stones of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, then you taste the wine, God Only Knows, and you connect it instantly.

I will talk a about Biodynamic farming methods later from what I gathered from the trip, but to answer one question, my mom asked me when I came back, did the wines taste different.  I sat there for a bit thinking on it, did they taste different? Well they were amazingly good, was it Biodynmaic or the care to detail in everything, the use of no pesticides, the low yields? Also what about his Terrior its unreal maybe the explains it but for me Biodynmaic must be working, I mean if the Christophe notices the difference in the health of his vines then yes it is working!

Without further ado here are some vineyard pictures and tasting notes

CAYUSE VINEYARDS, BIODYNMAIC WORKSHOP - Cayuse Vineyards, Walla Walla (6/29/2010)
This was the 2nd Day of the work shop with Philippe Armenier, we visited Christophe at Cayuse for a tour, tasting and lunch. Must say the wines were amazing defintly worth the wait list. No Accident why it sells out, just good juice
  • 2007 Cayuse Grenache God Only Knows - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    C: Med Intensity
    A: Med+ Intensity
    Fruit Ripe, Red Fruit [Twizzler]

    T: Dry, Med Acid, Med- Tannin, Red Fruit, Spice, Creamy Texture

    Fantastic Wine I think of the 6 this was my Favourite.
    As Christophe said this is as close as he is going to get to making a Pinot (93 pts.)
  • 2008 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    Had the 07 for Dinner the night before this was even better!

    A: Med+ Intensity
    Meat, Spice, Fat
    T: Sweet Tannins, still young and tight but oh so good

    Would love to see this in a couple of years at least! (92 pts.)
  • 2008 Cayuse Tempranillo Impulsivo En Chamberlin Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    C: Opaque Purple/Ruby/Black

    A: Dark Blackberry, had been open for 24hrs
    T: Opened nicely have "awesome" down for notes. A Very Dark Wine, Dense still a baby (91 pts.)
  • 2008 Cayuse Flying Pig - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    2nd Fav wine of the Day

    Spice, Meat, Fat, Good Cab Franc Qualities, Stems/Graphite. Red fruit on the palate. Gorgeous Texture (92 pts.)
  • 2008 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    Med Intensity
    Clean Precise, Pure Beautiful Fruit

    Still a baby but the Focus and Purity on this is amazing (92 pts.)
  • 2008 Cayuse Cabernet Sauvignon Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    my least fav of the 6 which isn't to say it was bad

    med+ ruby
    Good clean fruit, a nice sweet cassis, body was more med, and good acid. Did not dig this as much as the others but it still was good (90 pts.)
Biodynamic for the win
Posted from CellarTracker
THE 100-POINT RATING SCALE (Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate describes this in more detail.)
• Extraordinary (96-100 points)
• Outstanding (90-95)
• Very Good to Excellent (85-89)
• Good (80-84)
• Average (75-79)
• Below average (70-74)
• Avoid (50-70)

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