Bottle of Armada Vineyard Syrah displayed on its side

“Distinctly darker ... the way the Cote Brune is darker than the Cote Blonde in Cote-Rotie..”
—Stephen Tanzer,
The International Wine Cellar

En Cerise Vineyard Syrah

Produced: 2000 - present

Professional reviews and tasting notes from prior vintages added as published (scores within parentheses indicate barrel samples):


97+ Points. Lots of red and blue fruits, sappy herbs, beef blood, iron, sweet earth, and violet notes all emerge from the 2018 Syrah En Cerise Vineyard, and it's another incredibly pure, seamless wine from Baron that does everything right. Medium to full-bodied and flawlessly balanced, with silky tannins on the palate, it shows the purity and freshness of the vintage as well as a Jamet-like complexity and meatiness. It's going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for 20 years in cold cellars. —Jeb Dunnuck,

96 Points. Blueberries, violets, charcoal, peppercorn, thyme and dried oregano on the nose. Mushroom and earth, too. It’s full-bodied with firm, well-integrated tannins. Salty and juicy. So concentrated in flavor, yet fresh and refined, with great length. Drink or hold. —James Suckling,

95 Points. Handsomely structured, with an appealing hint of wild game, this red unfolds deliberately with blueberry, river stone and pepper accents. Drink now through 2030. —Tim Fish, Wine Spectator

94+ Points. Displaying a deep ruby core and magenta rim, the 2018 Syrah en Cerise bursts with elements of smoked meats, black pepper, umami, dried tobacco and smoked pipe before elements of black raspberry, dusty cherry and spiced plum compote sway out of the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the palate shows impeccable balance with a fine mineral tension followed by elements of smoked herbs, dusty lavender and hints of summer sausage across the mid-palate with youthful tannins. The wine concludes with a wonderfully expressive finish with elements of roasted herbs, cold firepit and cured meats. The wine should continue to drink well for the next decade. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

94 Points. Brooding aromas of raspberry, green stem, ember, sea salt, funk, grilled meat, hoisin sauce and blood are followed by potpourri and red fruit flavors that completely coat the palate. It shows a lot of grace and appeal, carrying on the flower- and olive-filled finish. Decant or give it some time in the cellar to see it at its best. —Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast


98 Points. …A slightly darker, meatier wine, offering a Jamet-like bouquet of blackberries, ground pepper, black olive, bloody meat, crushed rocks, and violets. Showing less overt funkiness and just a stunningly pure, elegant, medium to full-bodied Syrah, it has silky tannins, a great spine of acidity, and a great, great finish... —Jeb Dunnuck,

96 Points. Lots of blackberries and blueberries with grilled meat and gristle undertones. This is full-bodied, yet ever so balanced and creamy with integrated, fine tannins that are soft and caressing. Delicious finish. —James Suckling,

95 Points. The 2017 Syrah En Cerise begins a little more broad-shouldered than the rest of the range, offering up aromas of black cherries, crushed rock, cured meats, smoked peppercorn and dusty lavender in the glass. Full-bodied, the wine is firm with youthful tannins, which make this bottling food-friendly. Open-knit and expressive, the long, winding finish evolves over a few moments before reverting to savory tones and an expression of dust-covered cherry skin. Only 393 cases were produced. I would suggest giving this one more year in the cellar, then consume over the next 13-18 years. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate


99 Points. The 2016 Syrah En Cerise Vineyard is another winner (best to date?), showing an incredibly bloody, iron quality as well as beautiful purity in its bright cherry, blackberries, violets, pork fat, and acacia flower aromas and flavors. Seamless, silky, gorgeous, and perfectly balanced, it’s another heavenly wine from Baron that’s going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and cruise for 10-15. —Jeb Dunnuck,

97 Points. This wine displays an overt sense of funkiness out of the gate, with the rest of the aromas not entirely ready to reveal their charms. Charcuterie board, green peppercorn, asparagus, fresh tobacco, ashtray and soot notes emerge over time. Full, dense-feeling black olive and other savory flavors follow. The intensity on the finish is commanding, and it lasts for a solid minute. It's an exclamation point. —Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast

96 Points. The 2016 Syrah En Cerise has a tight core of red and black fruits on the nose with a dusty and juicy focus. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, the wine has a youthful expression of mineral tension and granular tannins, then turns to more of a rugged nature with hints of wild underbrush. The wine lingers with a long, dusty finish, showing a mineral grip that remains more on the tart cherry side with flutters of smoked spices. Give this bottle some time to mellow and age. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

94 Points. This has quite an austere edge of savory, dark stones and spices with a core of fresh black cherries and blackberries. The palate has the same mix of stones and pepper and the tannins are assertive yet fine, carrying plenty of dark berries and plums in a contained, gently stony brand of tannin. Give this some time in bottle. —James Suckling,

94 Points. … dark raspberry, plum, smoked meat, black olive, hoisin sauce and baking spices. Very backward and slightly medicinal, in a more brooding style, with its concentrated dark raspberry fruit complicated by notes of wet stone and smoky minerality... Finishes ripely tannic and very long. I suspect this wine will make a perfect match for a slab of rare duck breast, but I'd still hold it for at least a couple more years… —Stephen Tanzer, Vinous


(94-96)+ Points. Reminiscent of a burly Red Burgundy (Gevrey-Chambertin?), the 2015 Syrah En Cerise is one of the more focused, tight and backward in the lineup. It offers notes of black cherries, leather, olives and crushed rocks, with an uncommon elegance and seamlessness on the palate. It shows more classic Syrah bloodiness with time in the glass, has ultra-fine tannin and terrific length on the finish. Plan on giving bottles 2-3 years of cellaring, and it should see its 20th birthday in fine form. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate


95 Points. Just slightly more ruby colored than the Cailloux Vineyard, the 2014 Syrah en Cerise offers more elegance and finesse as well as lots of black cherry, plums, Asian spice and dried lavender aromatics. Full-bodied, elegant and very fine, it's a pretty, perfumed and seamless beauty. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

95 Points. Impeccably built and expressive, with vivid raspberry, smoky meat and crushed rock aromas and impressive, harmonious flavors of cherry, pepper and orange zest that linger toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2023. 406 cases made. —Tim Fish, Wine Spectator

94+ Points. Bright, dark red-ruby. Musky, balsamic scents of black raspberry, iron, bloody steak, salty cherries, black pepper, purple berries and flowers and subtle wild herbs; a hint of herbal rawness adds another element. Juicy, spicy, peppery and tight, displaying terrific energy but very unforthcoming today. A dark, very Old World style with a brooding brown spice character that would mostly be absent in a Syrah that included Viognier. Still a bit imploded and subdued, and salty on the very long aftertaste. — Stephen Tanzer, Vinous


95+ Points. Brought up in a scant 15% new puncheons, the 2013 Syrah en Cerise is a beautifully layered, elegant, yet focused and concentrated Syrah that really needs 2-3 years of bottle age to strut its stuff. Black cherries, raw steak, violets and pepper all emerge from this full-bodied, balanced, classic Syrah from one the top winemakers in the US. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

94 Points. Broad and supple, this open-textured version is powerful and expressive without weight. Plum, cherry, tobacco and orange peel flavors float over beautifully modulated tannins into the long, seamless finish. Drink now through 2023. 376 cases made. —Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


97 Points. is a fabulously complex, seamless and elegant Syrah that exhibits notes of dried cherries, currants, dried herbs, violets and cured meats. These all flow to a full-bodied, nicely concentrated Syrah that shows the more structured, savory side to the vintage...I think it will reward 3-4 years of cellaring, and keep for two decades. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

96 Points. Supple, ripe and expressive, layering currant, plum and cherry flavors on a medium-weight frame. A streak of rocky minerality adds depth as this sails into a long, harmonious, complex finish. Drink now through 2025. 361 cases made. —Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

96 Points. ... Opens with wonderful wet stone and Umami tones that combine with shades of pork rilette and Satsuma orange zest with bulls blood that all take shape in the glass... Bright red fruits march on with Umami, bacon fat, cigar ash, kumquat rind and shades of salted meats on the palate... Generous but weightless, this is a stunning achievement from this great vintage. —Owen Bargreen,

94+ Points. Tight, distinctly dark aromas of blue fruits, black cherry, pepper, leather and game. Not quite as fleshy or sweet in the early going as the Cailloux but boasts an outstanding balance between its dark raspberry fruit and crushed-stone minerality. Here, too, the firm tannins are wonderfully noble and the finish extremely long, but this wine will need longer in the cellar to express itself. —Stephen Tanzer, Vinous


96 Points. Made from 100% Syrah, the 2011 Syrah En Cerise is similarly styled, with perfumed black cherry, plum, violets, spring flowers and salty minerality giving way to a seamless, thrillingly pure Syrah that has full-bodied richness, no hard edges and fine tannin. It too will be better in another couple of years and evolve for 15 years or more. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

95 Points. Bright medium ruby-red. Dark raspberry, smoke, brown spices and crushed herbs on the nose; distinctly darker than the Cailloux, the way the Cote Brune is darker than the Cote Blonde in Cote-Rotie. Boasts outstanding thickness and spiciness on the palate; wonderfully sweet, lush and saline, with its pepper and spice elements gaining strength in the glass. Ultimately less expressive in the early going than the Cailloux but finishes with outstanding peppery persistence. –Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

94 Points. Packs a wallop of black cherry and blueberry flavors into a structure of unexpected transparency, hinting at black olive and pepper notes as the finish lingers easily. Shows grace and power. Best from 2016 through 2021. 369 cases made. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


96 Points. Sleek, sensuous and focused, offering smoky green olive and black olive accents to the blackberry and tar flavors. The crunchy tannins provide grip on the open-weave finish. Drink now through 2020. 305 cases made. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

95 Points....the thrilling 2010 Syrah En Cerise offers up a perfumed, wild array of ripe, meaty black cherries, soy, black olive, smoked herbs and river rock as well as a full-bodied, voluptuous and awesomely textured palate that carries its core of deep, concentrated fruit beautifully. Showing the classic Cayuse funk, as well as a complex, layered profile, it will benefit from short-term cellaring and evolve for 15 years or more. Drink 2015-2025. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate


96 Points. Fermented in concrete, then aged in demi-muids, only around 20% of which were new, Baron’s 2009 Syrah En Cerise Vineyard incorporates a mouthwateringly savory alliance of smoke meat and soy sauce to its luxuriantly rich, silken-textured matrix of confitured cassis and cherry, further laced with salted caramel, while striking perfume of mint, gentian, cardamom, and rose wood hovers above the glass and inner-mouth. The finish here lingers with an uncanny combination of seductive caress, vibrancy, richness, and buoyancy, its many flavor strands – floral, fruited, animal, spice and mineral – dynamically intertwining. I would surely give at least some bottles of it 12-15 years’ opportunity to show their true potential. Cautious as I attempt to be in drawing such parallels, if Baron’s latest Cailloux bottling resembles Verset Cornas, then this En Cerise puts one in mind of another of his Rhone heroes and (albeit self-effacing) near-legends, Marius Gentaz of Cote Rotie, and in either instance Baron’s result measures up to that of these old masters. –David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate

94(+?) Points....the nose offers superb lift for this warm vintage: black cherry, blackberry, cocoa powder and pink peppercorn, plus a suggestion of marshmallow. Lush and pliant but with a firm spine of acidity and underlying minerality energizing the sweet dark fruit and black olive flavors. A distinctly Rhone-like animal quality adds interest. At once rich and dry, with a building, tactile, palate-staining finish featuring a saline quality and strong black cherry flavor... –Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

94 Points. Flavors of blackberry, black cherry and a streak of cola ignite the palate, with a layer of pure mineral underneath. At first a bit delicate, this never pauses, introducing umami and cinnamon highlights on the lingering finish... –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast


99 Points. The 2008 En Cerise Vineyard Syrah offers up a remarkably complex, sexy perfume that leaps from the glass. Exotic spices, a velvety texture, and a succulent richness on the palate are sublime. It, too, can be enjoyed for a decade or more. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

98 Points. A subtle, complex, utterly distinctive mix of flavors, with opening streaks of butter cookie, then mushroom broth, tightly wound berry fruit, earthy coffee grounds and even darker streaks of espresso and smoke and licorice. It is deeply layered with flavors that just keep piling on. Amazing wine. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

96 Points. Rich and round, yet amazingly transparent as the cherry, mineral, tar and sassafras flavors expand over the long, expressive palate. This shows richness and depth balanced with vibrant acidity, finishing with intensity. Best from 2012 through 2020. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

93 Points. Bright ruby-red. Black raspberry, bacon fat and an exotic apricot note on the nose, complicated by a saline nuance; very Old World. Then thick, saline and sweet; less high-pitched than the Cailloux syrah but really stains the mouth with dark fruits, wild herbs and smoke. Still a bit youthfully edgy on the back end, finishing with terrific lift and a note of black olive. –Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar


98 Points. The 2007 Syrah En Cerise Vineyard (100%) is a glass-coating opaque purple color. On the nose espresso, smoked meat, olives, and garrigue-like aromas offer much to contemplate. Intense, balanced, and subtly elegant, it boasts a finish that just won’t quit. It delivers impressive immediate gratification, but those who can wait for 5-7 years will be well rewarded. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

95 Points. Focused like a laser, this beams oodles of fresh currant, plum and black olive flavors through a veil of refined tannins. This is fleshy, sneaking in wafts of pepper, licorice and tar on the finish. Drink now through 2020. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


97 Points. The 2006 Syrah En Cerise Vineyard is a glass-coating opaque purple color. On the nose liquid asphalt, bacon fat, olives, and garrigue-like aromas offer much to contemplate. Intense, balanced, and totally succulent, it boasts a finish that just won’t quit. It delivers impressive immediate gratification but those who can wait for 5-7 years will be well rewarded. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

95 Points. Polished, round and harmonious, deftly playing its effusive ripe cherry and currant fruit against wisps of mineral, black olive and tobacco as the finish expands and persists expressively. Best from 2010 through 2018. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


97 Points. The 2005 Syrah En Cerise features garrigue notes, mineral, meat, game, and blueberry. This brooding effort is dense, opulent, and powerful. Give it 5-7 years of cellaring and drink it through 2025. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

94 Points. Refined, offering a gorgeous mouthful of raspberry, strawberry and tea leaf flavors that find a deft balance as they soar through the long, vivid finish. This is a Syrah that shows restraint without losing a whit of its fruit character, as the tannins submerge themselves in the finish. Best from 2010 through 2015. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


96 Points. The 2004 Syrah "En Cerise Vineyard’s multidimensional perfume of pain grille, plums, blueberry, spice box, and leather leaps from the glass. This is followed by a wine with remarkable depth and concentration, a muscular, broad-shouldered wine with huge fruit encapsulated in a velvet jewel-box of a personality. With a finish lasting well over a minute, this powerful yet elegant wine should drink well through 2045. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

93 Points. A bit tight on the nose, but the mineral-accented cherry and pomegranate flavors spread across the palate, hinting at espresso as the finish persists against superfine tannins. Drink now through 2014. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

92 Points. Here’s a strong whiff of what Cayuse’s Christophe Baron calls the "good funk," augmented with a blast of black pepper, meat and blood. There’s wild herb lurking in the background also, and as the Syrah opens up slowly in the glass it develops a powerful green tea scent. But what a glorious, pungent, earthy and sensuous mix of flavors, wild, organic and fascinating. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast


93 Points. The En Cerise is all Syrah; very dark, young and toasty. It already shows streaks of smoke, pepper, grilled meat, cassis and pomegranate. There’s baby fat—bacon, wood spice—but terroir behind it. Herbs, grainy fruit, nuances of grain and herb and wood and earth, all very clean. –Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

92 Points. Amazingly, eye-openingly, effusively peppery, a jolt to the senses that then subsides and lets the cherry, red plum and red berry flavors come waltzing through, establishing a beachhead on the palate that carries through the finish. Gorgeous stuff, finishing with a tang. Drink now through 2014. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


95 Points. Gorgeous stuff, ripe and open, layered with exotic spice-scented plum, cherry, saffron and pepper notes that linger enticingly on the long, extraordinarily well-formed peacock's tail of a finish. Drink now through 2011. 196 cases made. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


94 Points. Glorious stuff, rich, ripe, deep and powerful, a dynamic mouthful of dark berry, cherry and plum fruit mated with peppery, exotic spice notes and a distinctive mineral character that doesn't quit. Drink now through 2010. 203 cases made. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

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