“...this showed captivating aromas of raspberry, smoke and underbrush and a
silkiness of texture that reminded me of a big Burgundy.”
—Stephen Tanzer,
International Wine Cellar

Cailloux Vineyard Syrah

Produced: 1999 - present

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

2016

(97-99) Points. Moving to the Syrahs and always the largest production release, the 2016 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard includes a small amount of co-fermented Viognier and is raised all in puncheons. Cold campfire/ash, plums, dried violets, and pepper all flow to a rich, full-bodied, incredibly opulent Syrah that has a stacked, thick mid-palate, bright acidity, and a great, great finish. It’s another killer vintage for this vineyard and it’s going to be one of the Syrahs of the vintage. —Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com

2015

(95-97) Points. The only wine to be cofermented with Viognier, the 2015 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is a perfumed, floral and honeysuckle-scented beauty that gives up more bacon fat, soot and dark fruits with time in the glass. It’s one of the most seamless and silky in the lineup, and I suspect it will be the most approachable on release as well. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2014

100 Points. Incorporating a touch more Viognier than normal, the 2014 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier from the first vineyard planted in the stones region of Walla Walla. Sporting a surprisingly deep, inky color, it offers a heavenly bouquet of black olives, tobacco leaf, smoked meats, pepper, blackcurrant and black cherry notes. Deep, rich and ever changing in the glass, with incredible complexity and layers, this full-bodied masterpiece has building tannin, a stacked mid-palate and a great, great finish. It's pure perfection in Syrah, and the finest vintage of this cuvee ever made. As a bonus, it’s also the largest production Syrah they produce. Bravo! —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2013

#5 in the 10.2016 Seattle Met ‘Top 100 Washington Wines’ (—Sean Sullivan)

#37 – Top 100 Wines of 2016, Wine Spectator

94 Points. From the oldest vineyard in the Stones (Christophe calls it The Stones, not The Rocks), the transparent ruby colored 2013 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard incorporates 5% co-fermented Viognier and has a distinct saltiness, as well as classic Cayuse notes of peat moss, mushrooms, iodine, and sweet cherry and currant fruit. While gamey and a touch backwards right on opening, it blossomed with time in the glass and can be enjoyed today with a decant, or cellared for a decade or more. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

96 Points. Broad and expressive, playing the cherry, raspberry and pear notes against fine tannins. Picks up tobacco, tar and mineral notes as the finish sails on. Has terrific presence without weight. Drink now through 2025. 846 cases made. —Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

95 Points. (15% new oak; this was the first vineyard planted in what is now known as the Rocks District, back in 1997): Good medium-deep red. Compellingly complex, high-toned aromas of raspberry, brown spices, olive tapenade, smoked sausage, lilac and black licorice are lifted by a floral topnote. Wonderfully concentrated, saline wine with terrific spicy energy and delineation to its very pure raspberry and smoke flavors. Still tightly coiled but the outstanding purity and intensity of fruit here is clear. Finishes with great length and spicy lift. —Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

2012

96+ Points. The only Syrah to be cofermented with Viognier, the 2012 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard (which sees mostly second-fill barrels) is one of the more serious, age-worthy examples of this cuvee I've tasted. Offering up lots of black raspberry, orange blossom, peach pit (these are no doubt due to the Viognier) and violet notes to go with almost searing minerality, this fabulous Syrah hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a layered, concentrated, tannic mouth feel and a great finish. Give it 2-3 years and enjoy over the following decade or so. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

95 Points. Firm, focused, supple and expansive, but not heavy, splaying out the currant, plum and chalky flavors on a silky frame, lingering easily on the long, expressive finish. Drink now through 2025. 755 cases made. —Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

95 Points. Full medium red with ruby tones. Musky, multidimensional nose hits most of Syrah's key food groups: redcurrant, smoky bacon fat, steak tartare, flint, lilac and black pepper. Hugely rich and full on the palate without communicating any impression of weightiness. An element of white flowers carries through on the palate to lift the fruit, mineral and smoked meat flavors. Like liquid velvet in the mouth, this outstanding Syrah finishes with big, broad, noble tannins and great length. —Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

94 Points. Light in color, this über aromatic wine conveys flowers, black and green olive, mineral, peat and smoke. The palate is all about elegance of expression and texture, with smoked meat and coffee flavors that linger. —Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast

2011

97 Points. The 2011 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is the only Syrah to incorporate a splash of cofermented Viognier, which in some vintages, can be as much as 10% of the blend. Including 5% in 2011, it has a fabulous perfume of crunchy black fruit, crushed rocks, smoked earth and layers of violets and crushed flowers. Straight-up awesome on the palate, with full-bodied richness and a seamless texture, it opens up in the glass, has superb concentration and blockbuster length. Give it another 2-3 years and enjoy bottles through 2026, although it will certainly evolve longer as well. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2010

96 Points. The only one of Christophe’s Syrahs to be co-fermented with Viognier, the 2010 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard (90% Syrah, 10% Viognier) shows the least amount of Cayuse funk and has classic northern Rhone-like aromas and flavors of black raspberry, black pepper, edgy minerality, spring flowers and hints of bacon fat. Gaining additional complexity and nuances with air, it is silky and polished on the palate, with full-bodied richness, a seamless, elegant texture and remarkable persistence and length on the finish. One of those wines that delivers incredible amounts of fruit and texture without ever seeming heavy, it is a brilliant wine that will benefit from a handful of years in the cellar and shine for 10-15 years. Drink now-2025. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

95 Points. Dark and smoky, with bright blackberry and plum lighting up the core, balanced by black olive and stone overtones. This red matches intensity with sleek balance. Drink now through 2020. 730 cases made. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2009

96 Points. Polished, effortless and juicy, with blackberry, currant, black olive and tar flavors, beautifully balanced to rotate all its facets as the finish keeps spinning. Harmonious and expressive. Drink now through 2019. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

95 Points. The latest installment of Cayuse’s largest-production, their 2009 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard – vinified largely in foudre and aged in previously used demi-muids – features lightly-stewed cherry and purple plum laced with cinnamon stick and clove; garlanded in violet and acacia that point to the inclusion of Viognier; and underlain by salivary gland-engaging roasted but still bloody red, organ-like meaty savor. (And speaking of organs, there is a reverberative pedal-point of low-toned flavors here that engenders an awesome sense of depth.) Sappy and intensely-concentrated yet possessed of an admirable, almost uncanny sense of buoyancy; ultra-dense yet remarkably fine-grained, this adds black pepper and tar from the classic Syrah playbook to its long litany of flavors and lusciously long and vibrant finish. It’s easy to see how this would please a wine grower who reveres Noel Verset. I can’t imagine it commencing to signal a need to be drunk-up for at least another dozen years, and probably not until significantly later. –David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate

95 Points. Always a standout, this is the only one of the Cayuse Syrahs that is cofermented with Viognier. This explodes with flavors of blueberries, soy, earth, black tea, iodine, anise and salt, plus a hint of sassafras. Notes of herb and cured meat add further interest to this unique, captivating effort. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

94 Points. Good dark red. Aromas of raspberry, mocha, black olive and leather, plus a suggestion of apricot (from the 7% viognier component, no doubt). Rich in the mouth and impressively bright for the vintage, with complex fruit and mineral flavors framed and lifted by pepper, floral and spice elements. Very complex, dry and long syrah with superb fruit and grip. Christophe Baron told me that he did no leaf-pulling for syrah and then carried out a very gentle extraction: "like steeping tea." –Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

2008

Rated Number 1 by Seattle Metropolitan magazine (September 2011), Washington’s 100 Best Wines. In the late 1990’s Christophe Baron set about making a series of highly rated syrahs that would transform the Washington wine industry. Today he is still a syrah maker in a class by himself. Case in point: this intensely aromatic wine with floral and savory notes, minerality, light funk, saline, and black olive juice. 97 Points. –Sean Sullivan, Seattle Metropolitian Magazine

97 Points. A vintage that saw rain in late September, the 2008 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is a co-fermented blend of 90+% Syrah and the balance Viognier, that wasn’t harvested until October 10. Hitting 14.1% natural alcohol, it’s drinking beautifully today and offers a meaty, iodine, peppery and plum-pit bouquet to go with a full-bodied, refined and elegant feel on the palate. It shows more and more floral and rose petal qualities with time in the glass, has plenty of mid-palate depth and will have no issues evolving for another decade.

97 Points. The 2008 Cailloux Vineyard Syrah contains 4% Viognier. Expressive game, bacon, and blueberry aromas are given uplift by the Viognier component. This savory, rich, lengthy Syrah can be enjoyed now and over the next 10-12 years.
–Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

97 Points. Rated Number 16 in Wine Enthusiast magazine, Top 100 wines of 2011. This is the only Cayuse Syrah that is co-fermented (with 8% Viognier), which adds nuances of white flower and floral, though the citrus rind scents override them. In the nose it’s hugely expressive, though still quite tight and compact in the mouth; it must be decanted. It’s a three ring circus of a wine, with things moving and shaking in all directions. Mineral, berry, mountain complexity, nuanced herb and earth and citrus, all in proportion, and all flowing in the mouth. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

95 Points. Polished, refined in structure and exuberant in flavor, bursting with cherry, smoke, paprika and tar character, finishing with a mineral edge. This has a steely balance behind the open texture, and the finish just rolls and rolls. Drink now through 2020.
–Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

94 Points. Dark, bright red-ruby. Musky, smoky aromas of blackberry, black cherry, brown spices and licorice. High-pitched and taut on the palate, with lovely verve and focus to the dark berry and violet flavors. This gripping young syrah is most impressive today on the very long finish, which features noble tannins and outstanding cling.
–Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

97 Points. Rated Number 1 by Seattle Metropolitan magazine (September 2011), Washington’s 100 Best Wines. In the late 1990’s Christophe Baron set about making a series of highly rated syrahs that would transform the Washington wine industry. Today he is still a syrah maker in a class by himself. Case in point: this intensely aromatic wine with floral and savory notes, minerality, light funk, saline, and black olive juice.
–Sean Sullivan, Seattle Metropolitian

2007

98 Points. The 2007 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard might be the greatest vintage from this vineyard to date, although I think the ’06 and '10 will be longer-lived. Seeing 4-6% Viognier and around 50-60% stems during fermentation, it’s a blockbuster effort that exudes notions of iron, dried blood, pepper, Asian spice and sweet red and black fruits. Full-bodied, supple and sexy on the palate, it has extraordinary purity, a layered, full mid-palate and beautiful depth and tannic structure that comes through on the finish. It’s far from unapproachable today, and I’d happily drink it anytime over the coming decade or more. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

95 Points. Baron’s 2007 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is unusual for its combination of Cote Rotie-like bacon, smoky black tea, and floral aromatic overtones with rich chocolate and licorice, all of these mingling with sappy confitured dark berries. This is amazingly supple and silken-textured, not because the tannins were baked-out of the fruit on the vine, but instead simply because they’re so fine. After setting you up for a continuation of its incredible richness all the way to a long finish, it introduces tar, black pepper, and an almost horseradish- and mustard green-like bite for an effect of spine- not just tongue-tingling invigoration. At the same time, the mouthwateringly carnal aspects of this multifarious performance are never far below the surface. (While I realize it isn’t “supposed” to show up its Bionic Frog counterpart, when tasted alongside one recognizes that this must be having an exceedingly good day. I suspect this Cailloux will remain well worth revisiting for the better part of a decade.) –David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate

97 Points. The saturated purple 2007 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard contains 4% Viognier in the blend. It displays a Cote-Rotie-like nose of smoked meat, olives, herbs, game, and bacon. Layered, plush, and super-rich, this full-bodied, pleasure-bent effort has exceptional length. Difficult to resist now, it can be enjoyed over the next 10-12 years.
–Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

95 Points. Strong notes of tar, hot stone and licorice weave through the rich, dark plum, mulberry and currant aromas and flavors. A complex, beautifully knit wine that lets its flavors sail through a long, compelling finish. Best from 2012 through 2020.
–Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2006

98 Points. The deepest colored of the lineup, as well as the most powerful and concentrated, the 2006 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is Hermitage-like with its dark, meaty core of fruit, iodine, chocolate and mineral-laced aromas and flavors. Not harvested until mid-October and aged in 15% new French oak barrels, this full-bodied, decadent and concentrated Syrah has another handful of years before hitting full-maturity, and will have 25+ years of ultimate longevity. It’s a tour de force in Syrah from Washington State! –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

98 Points. The first of the Syrahs is the saturated purple 2006 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard (with 4% Viognier in the blend). It displays a Cote-Rotie-like nose of smoked meat, game, and bacon with a dollop of burnt sugar and blueberry making an appearance. Layered, plush, and super-rich, this full-bodied, pleasure-bent effort has exceptional length. Difficult to resist now, it can be enjoyed over the next 10-12 years.
–Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

95 Points. Plush and polished, this brims with cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors that are nicely shaded with streaks of mineral and green olive. Supple, harmonious and expressive as the finish keeps sailing on and on. Best from 2011 through 2018.
–Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2005

98 Points. Similar to the ’06, the 2005 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard was the first wine to be made at the new wine making studio located near the estate vineyards (prior vintages were made at Pepper Bridge). It’s a big, rich, powerful Syrah that offers lots of dark fruits, currants, chocolate and crushed rock-like minerality to go with a full-bodied, deep, chewy and structured profile on the palate. It too will have 20-25 years of ultimate longevity. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

97 Points. The normal cuvee of 2005 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard has an alluring perfume of spice box, meat, game, and blueberry compote. Opulent yet elegant, this hedonistic effort will benefit from 4-6 years of cellaring and provide pleasure through 2020.
–Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

93 Points. Distinctly spicy, with a panoply of dusky, sweet and savory spices that wrap around a tight core of blackberry fruit, veering toward black tea on the finish. It all hangs on a lithe, supple structure that's more elegant than most Syrahs. Best from 2010 through 2015. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2004

93 Points. Coming from a vintage that featured a massive freeze that pretty much decimated any unburied vines, the 2004 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is the first to really show that Cayuse funk, with lots of iodine, peat, dried herbs, chocolate and exotic spice all emerging from the glass. Uber-ripe, it’s fully mature, yet still has loads of depth, big fruit and solid length through the finish. I think it’s a fair click back from the new releases, yet it still has plenty of to love and it still improves in the glass. While I found it fully mature and think it’s best drunk up, Christophe commented that it’s tasted like this for years, so you never know. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

93 Points. Syrah is the principal raison d’etre at Cayuse Vineyards. In a typical vintage five are produced beginning with the 2004 Syrah “Cailloux Vineyard,” a cuvee co-fermented with 4% Viognier. It delivers a splendid nose of lavender, leather, meat, and blueberry jam. This is followed by a wine with great flavor already exhibiting complexity. It could use a bit more depth but that is a minor matter. This beauty can be enjoyed through 2025. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

92 Points. Supple, open-textured and immensely appealing for the balance of distinctly mineral-accented plum and cherry flavors against subtle touches of coffee, wet earth and oak. Drink now through 2014. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2003

92 Points. Full, deep red. Musky, raw syrah aromas of pepper, espresso, roasted herbs and crunchy berries. Sweet, rich, creamy and sexy, with a distinctly French texture. Still a bit reduced but already quite expressive, in the style of the vintage. Finishes with very suave tannins and excellent length. With 24 hours in the recorked bottle, this showed captivating aromas of raspberry, smoke and underbrush and a silkiness of texture that reminded me of a big Burgundy. –Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

92 Points. Viognier (4%) was co-fermented with Syrah to produce the candied blackberry, leather, and sweat-scented 2003 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard. Medium to full-bodied and broad on the attack, this black fruit-filled wine tightens to reveal a bright, slightly tangy finish. Drink it over the next 2-3 years. –Pierre Rovani, The Wine Advocate

95 Points. Incredible fruit intensity. Cranberry, pomegranate and cherry meet rock, gravel and pepper. Lovely focus and purity; it’s concentrated and tight, with a minerality that is compelling and distinctive. The best yet from Cailloux. Syrah is co-fermented with 4 or 5% Viognier. It’s a world-class effort, still quite young and tight, but built for beautiful aging. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

91 Points. Lithe, supple style has a lovely range of spicy plum and cranberry flavors on a silky frame, a seductive wine that hints at stony notes as the finish lingers. Drink now through 2015. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2002

94 Points. A cool vintage in Washington State, the 2002 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard was harvested on October 10 and saw roughly 25% new French barriques during its élevage. Full-bodied, savory, layered and seamless, it has lots of iodine, olive brine, dried herbs and sweet black raspberry fruit to go with good overall freshness, plenty of texture and great finish. It will continue to drink nicely through 2022.94 Points. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

Full, deep red. Musky, raw syrah aromas of pepper, espresso, roasted herbs and crunchy berries. Sweet, rich, creamy and sexy, with a distinctly French texture. Still a bit reduced but already quite expressive, in the style of the vintage. Finishes with very suave tannins and excellent length. With 24 hours in the recorked bottle, this showed captivating aromas of raspberry, smoke and underbrush and a silkiness of texture that reminded me of a big Burgundy. –Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

2001

95 Points. The 2001 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard, which was brought in during the third week in September, is a classic representation of this site. Full-bodied, elegant and seamless, with lots of sweet currant and blackberry fruits, scorched earth, spice, cured meats and hints of coffee bean, it’s fully mature and drinking beautifully, but will hold nicely for another 5-6 years, if not longer. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

92 Points. Full, deep red. Musky, raw syrah aromas of pepper, espresso, roasted herbs and crunchy berries. Sweet, rich, creamy and sexy, with a distinctly French texture. Still a bit reduced but already quite expressive, in the style of the vintage. Finishes with very suave tannins and excellent length. With 24 hours in the recorked bottle, this showed captivating aromas of raspberry, smoke and underbrush and a silkiness of texture that reminded me of a big Burgundy. –Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

2000

92 Points. The first vintage from the vineyard, the fully mature 2000 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is still drinking beautifully today, with a youthful ruby color, lots of currants, cassis, dried spices, chocolate and peppery aromatics, full-bodied richness, and an elegant, silky, integrated texture. Co-fermented with 4-5% Viognier, with around 40% stems, and aged in one-third new French oak, there’s no need to delay gratification here. It's a classic Syrah from this vineyard that’s drinking at point –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

1999

93 Points. Bright, exuberant style packs lots of cherry, blackberry and exotic spice character into a lithe frame, letting the flavors play out on a silky finish that lingers seductively. Drink now through 2005. 291 cases made. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

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