Bottle of Armada Vineyard Syrah displayed on its side

“Getting a big ‘Wow’ from me… it’s a sensational Bordeaux blend from one of Washington’s greats! Bravo.”
—Jeb Dunnuck,
The Wine Advocate


Produced: 2002 - present

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


94 Points. Opening with a mineral-driven nose, the 2018 The Widowmaker en Chamberlin Vineyard offers up elements of dusty blackberry, hints of leather and resinous purple flowers with cinnamon and nutmeg tones. Medium to full-bodied, the wine displays a ripe, lush expression that is coated with a delightful mineral tension before displaying elements of bitter dark chocolate, dried sage and dusty purple flowers. Concluding with a long, winding finish, the Cabernet should continue to deliver an elegant, dark-fruited and delightful drinking experience for the next decade and a half. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

94 Points. Lots of earthy tobacco, gravelly earth, shiitake, and assorted darker fruits emerge from the 2018 The Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard. Medium to full-bodied, it has a wonderful core of sweet fruit, polished tannins, and a great finish. It leans heavily into the earthy, foresty side of the spectrum. Give bottles 2-4 years in the cellar if you can, and it should have two decades of prime drinking ahead of it. This is only for those who like plenty of savory earthiness in their Bordeaux blends. —Jeb Dunnuck,


97+ Points. …Loads of blackcurrant and cassis as well as leafy tobacco, cedar pencil, chocolate, cold fireplace and Asian spices on both the nose and palate. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated, it has a wonderfully seamless texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a great, great finish… —Jeb Dunnuck,

95 Points. The 2017 The Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard begins with boisterous black fruits on the nose with subtleties of graphite, blackcurrant and dried violets before expressing hints of crème de cassis and smoked earth. Full-bodied, the wine is rich and round, offering a generous yet balanced structure to last about two decades. Accessible in youth, the wine ends with a silky, supple finish that continues to evolve with complexity for moments after the wine has left the palate and will surely deliver pleasure. 232 cases produced. Good luck finding some. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate


99 Points. Coming all from the En Chamberlin Vineyard and 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard has classic crème de cassis, graphite, smoke tobacco, and smoked earth notes as well as a thrilling floral, exotic quality with time in the glass. This full-bodied, deep, silky wine has no hard edges, beautiful tannins, and a remarkable, profound elegance and purity. —Jeb Dunnuck,

95+ Points. the 2016 The Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard has a black-fruited nose with a tight core of dusty flowers. The wine is full-bodied and lush on the palate, with a tight minerality that will make this quite age-worthy. It's balanced yet still tight on the mid-palate with a long, lingering finish. This is a beautiful and generous wine that delivers pleasure with a lush and dusty expression. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate


(93-96) Points. The 2015 The Widowmaker en Chamberlin Vineyard is the Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated cuvee from the team, and it’s a full-bodied, big, rich effort that has classic Bordeaux characteristics of graphite, blackcurrants, dried violets and lead pencil shavings. It has just a touch of Cayuse funk, rock-solid, mid-palate depth and sweet tannin, all suggesting it’s going to be long lived. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate


99 Points. Getting a big "Wow!" from me, the 212-case 2014 The Widowmaker sports a deep, inky color (darker than any current vintage) to go with a masculine, Chateau Latour-like bouquet of blackcurrants, graphite, tobacco leaf and cedar. Rich, full-bodied, decadent and powerful, with ripe and polished tannin, it's a sensational Bordeaux blend from one of Washington's greats! Bravo. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

94 Points. Bright ruby-red. Slightly stemmy complexity to the aromas of black cherry, licorice and bitter chocolate, complicated and enlivened by sexy floral and orange peel high notes. Wonderfully concentrated, silky and savory, boasting outstanding depth of dark fruit flavor with terrific lift and definition. This very suave, compellingly spicy wine really reverberates on the palate-staining aftertaste. —Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

93 Points. Plush, expressive and well-structured, with savory black cherry and stony mineral aromas and dense but polished licorice and espresso flavors that linger toward refined tannins. Best from 2019 through 2025. 505 cases made. —Tim Fish, Wine Spectator


95 Points. Lastly, the 2013 Widowmaker is one of the richest, more concentrated 2013s in the lineup. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 30-40% new puncheons, this full-bodied beauty has fabulous Cabernet character and offers the essence of black cherry and crème de cassis fruits, smoked earth, and chocolate aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, seamless and elegant, give bottles 4-5 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following 10-15 years. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

93 Points. Ripe and rich, with powdery tannins framing a generous core of cherry, currant, cocoa and savory spice flavors that persist into a long and expressive finish. Best from 2018 through 2023. 212 cases made. —Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


96+ Points. Coming all from the En Chamberlin vineyard and made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2012 The Widowmaker is backward and tight, with bright acidity giving lift to notes of cassis, graphite, smoked earth and lots of crushed-rock minerality. Full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, yet still showing a more elegant, focused and pure style, it won't hit maturity for another 7-8 years, and will keep for 25+. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

93+ Points. (13.7% alcohol; aged in 60% new Taransaud barrels): Bright, deep red. Rather flinty aromas of currant, bloody steak, smoke and cold steel. Offers outstanding freshness and inner-mouth perfume to its red and black fruit and mineral flavors complicated by smoke. Some past vintages of this bottling have been thicker and more saline, but this wine offers a compelling light touch that’s a reflection of its vintage. Superb and very young. —Stephen Tanzer, Vinous


95+ Points.The 2011 The Widowmaker is a beauty. One of the top Cabernet Sauvignons in the vintage, it offers up classic red and black currant fruit, earth, smoked meats and spice to go with a medium to full-bodied, elegant, seamless texture on the palate that carries masses of beautifully polished tannin. Aged 18 months in 50-60% new French oak, it’s a relatively forward vintage for this cuvee (which is the norm for the vintage) that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 15 years or more. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate


97 Points. A silky, supple and downright sexy 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2010 Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard offers up notes of sweet red and black currants, leaf tobacco, mulled spices and cedar to go with a full-bodied, rich and gorgeously textured and polished palate. Already approachable and surprisingly civilized, with a core of sweet fruit and ripe, polished tannin, it nevertheless holds up beautifully with air and drank well for the three days I had the bottle open. Enjoy it over the coming 12-15+ years. Drink now-2025+. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate


97 Points. Using grapes sourced entirely from the En Chamberlin Vineyard, this pure Cabernet is deep, dark, focused and tight, with firm but velvety tannins and a perfect mix of cassis, coffee and earth. Even more than previous years, this vintage displays astonishing depth and power. Flavors of Serrano ham and other cured meats, plus a delicate saltiness and minerality keep the flavors developing onto the long, fascinating finish. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

93 Points. Good deep red. Aromas of licorice pastille and smoke. Dense, sweet, juicy and bright, with harmonious acidity shaping and lifting the raspberry, cassis and spice flavors. A captivating hint of rocky minerality contributes to the impression of finesse. In a very suave style, finishing with sweet tannins and superb persistence. Baron told me that he is slowly bringing down his new oak percentages, and this wine is clearly the better for the new approach. –Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

93 Points. The Cayuse 2009 Widowmaker – as usual, from the year 2000 plantings in the deeply gravelly En Chamberlin – was raised in just under half new barrels, whereas in 2005 and 2006 it was 80%. Juniper berry, cedar, and cassis catch the nose’s attention; then inform a rich, polished, subtly-oily palate. A suggestion of crushed stone – though not, to be sure, the refined texture and tannins on display here – certainly fits Baron’s quip that “this is like riding over a gravel road.” Tactile sizzle of baking spices; smoky Latakia tobacco; and piquant huckleberry all add to the intensity, grip, and complexity of a powerfully persistent finish. This looks likely to reward considerable cellaring and perform well for more than a decade. –David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate


97 Points. The 2008 Widowmaker En Chamberlin Cabernet Sauvignon was aged in 50-60% new oak, something Baron uses judiciously. It is a very Left Bank Bordeaux styled wine combining power and elegance. It is likely to have a 20 year lifespan. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

96 Points. Superb sculpture and definition in this compact and lightly funky evocation of pure Cabernet Sauvignon. The deep, dense, super ripe berry flavors are framed within a bouquet of dried herbs, pepper, mineral, astringent tannins, and a crisp mix of earth, wood and plant flavors. Superb length and ageability. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast


98 Points. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard is 100% varietal from a single parcel aged in 75% new French oak. The nose displays sandalwood, mineral, earth notes, Asian spices, incense, black currant, blackberry, and a hint of chocolate. Rich, dense, and layered, it displays remarkable elegance for its size. It will continue to evolve for 6-8 years and provide pleasure through 2027. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

91 Points. Big and bracing, offering a plush mouthful of black olive-immersed blackberry, cherry, plum and spice flavors, finishing with savory herb character. Drink now through 2017. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


98 Points. The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard is 100% varietal from a single parcel aged in 75% new French oak. The nose surrenders a sensual perfume of smoke, crushed rocks, game, dried fruits, and a hint of chocolate. Rich, dense, and layered, it is the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. It will continue to evolve for 6-8 years and provide pleasure through 2026. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate


98 Points. The 2005 The Widowmaker is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the En Chamberlin Vineyard. Opaque purple, the nose reveals toasty oak, minerals, scorched earth, an amalgam of black fruits, plum, and licorice. Smooth-textured, opulent, and full-flavored, the oak is totally integrated and every element is in harmony. Give it 8-10 years in the cellar and drink it through 2030. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

91 Points. Smooth and generous, this offers a powerful blast of ripe cherry, rhubarb pie and strawberry jam, finishing with a meaty note. Has lots of personality, with a finish that won't quit. Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2013. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


97 Points. The 2004 The Widowmaker "En Chamberlin Vineyard" is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French oak, 75% new. The most massive of Cayuse’s Bordeaux-styled wines, this purple-colored behemoth offers an imposing nose of pain grille, scorched earth, espresso roast, licorice, and black currants. Brooding on the palate, this amazingly rich and concentrated wine is an infant in terms of its development. There is enough structure to support 10-20 years in the cellar but there is so much extract and baby fat that the wine can be enjoyed now with a dry-aged prime ribeye. For those with patience, The Widowmaker (could this be a reference to the potential longevity of the wine?) should drink well through 2050. Personally, I look forward to drinking this wine when I’m 105. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

93 Points. This smells of herbs, but offers a mouthful of gorgeous plum and currant fruit on a supple frame. Finishes with harmony and a distinct stylishness. The savory notes add plenty of interest, and the oak integrates smoothly. Best from 2008 through 2014. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


90 Points. Produced entirely from Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2003 The Widowmaker offers a nose of herb-laced dark fruits. Medium to full-bodied, dense, and boisterous, this outstanding effort is crammed with blackberries and spices. Projected maturity: 2008-2018. –Pierre Rovani, The Wine Advocate

93 Points. Supple, plush and immensely appealing for its range of blueberry, plum and currant fruit, shaded with a relatively low level of spicy oak, lingering seductively on the round, polished finish. This one has refinement and grandeur. Drink now through 2015. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

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