“A lavish mouthful of cherry and plum, with a whole shelf
of fresh spices that sail on
and on.”
—Harvey Steiman,
Wine Spectator

En Chamberlin Vineyard Syrah

Produced: 2002 - present

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

2014

(96-98) Points. Always the most exotic in the lineup, the meaty, iron, black olive and floral-scented 2014 Syrah en Chamberlin Vineyard has a big core of ripe tannin and sweet fruit in its full-bodied, exuberant style. Given the polish to its tannin, it should drink nicely in its youth, but I suspect it will be at its best from 2020-2034. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2013

96 Points. A wine that continued to change and develop in the glass was the 2013 Syrah en Chamberlin Vineyard, which is the smallest production cuvee of the 2013 single vineyard releases (there’s 340 cases). Notes of smoke, charcuterie, black olives, black pepper and violets all emerge from this complex, layered, full-bodied beauty that has fine tannin, a seamless, elegant texture and beautiful length. Give bottles a few years and drink through 2033. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

93 Points. Generous, round and expressive, open-textured and distinctive, with smoky dried blueberry and tapenade flavors, balancing harmoniously against nubby tannins on the long finish. Drink now through 2023. 340 cases made. —Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2012

96 Points. The dark ruby, opaque 2012 Syrah en Chamberlin Vineyard is a classic example of this vineyard. Gamy, complex and nuanced, with lots of olive tapenade, ground herbs, charcoal and wood smoke, as well as a beautiful core of dark fruit, it has full-bodied richness, building tannin, and a light, elegant texture. One of the more approachable 2012s from Christophe, it still doesn't lack for tannic grip. It offers plenty of pleasure now, but should have 15 years or more of longevity. —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

93 Points. Tapenade, sassafras and tarry aromatics and flavors combine to give this richly decadent style extra depth, centering on black cherry fruit at the core. Has great presence and a distinctive profile. Drink now through 2022. 349 cases made. —Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

94+ Points. Medium bright red, a bit less saturated than the Cailloux and en Cerise. Extravagant varietally expressive aromas of raspberry, charred meat and duck fat. Dense, thick and plump but also quite firm, with multidimensional flavors of raspberry, blackberry, black cherry and licorice saturating the palate and building slowly on the very long back end. Boasts a lovely restrained sweetness, as well as more lift than some recent decadent vintages for this bottling. —Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

2011

95+? Points. Explosive aromas and flavors of raspberry, smoked meat, woodsmoke, bacon fat, truffle and black olive, along with notes of minerals and bloody steak. Densely packed but juicy and almost magically light on its feet, with strong smoky minerality contributing to the impression of inner-mouth tension. Like a great Cote-Rotie in its sappiness and spicy lift. Finishes with a whiplash of flavor and subtle building length. –Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

95 Points. Almost always the most wild and exotic, the 2011 Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard doesn’t disappoint with its iron, peat moss, flowers and blackberry and currant-style fruit. Savory, medium to full-bodied, nicely structured and with notable structure, it should be at its best from 2018-2028. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

94 Points.Dark and brooding, this offers a roiling mix of smoke, tarry blackberry, lavender and tapenade flavors, lingering on the expressive finish against polished tannins. Not at all heavy. Think roasted lamb. Drink now through 2021. 339 cases made.–Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2010

96+ Points. A 100% Syrah and always the most exotic and wild of the lineup, the 2010 Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard has the Cayuse peat moss, iodine, underbrush, olive brine and gamey qualities on full display. Blossoming in the glass and showing a core of sweet fruit, it has a rich, substantial feel on the palate with a concentrated, full-bodied mouthfeel, brilliant mid-palate depth and a focused, detailed finish that carries ample finely polished tannin. Very gamey and bloody on the palate, this singular beauty will be better in another year or three and thrill for 15 years or more. Drink now-2025. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

96 Points. Supple, expressive and round, layering black currant, dark plum, black tea, tamarind and black olive flavors over a sensuous bed of plush tannins. Shows intensity and presence. Drink now through 2020. 316 cases made. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2009

99 Points. In a vintage that produced the finest overall lineup of Cayuse wines to date, it may seem a little nit-picky to score some higher and some lower. But the En Chamberlin deserves first place again. Brilliant aromatics of smoked meat, bacon fat and otherworldly roasted accents seduce instantly. Once on the palate, the silky, balanced, near-perfect mix of umami and fruit, plus licorice, cassis, coffee liqueur and black tea notes suggest it’s as decadent as it is delicious. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

97 Points. Smoky evocations of peat and black tea along with pungent, well-hung gaminess are what first tweak the nose from Baron’s 2009 Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard, followed by high-toned candied lemon and orange rind; bittersweet distilled floral essences; and evocations of kirsch and framboise eau de vie, a wealth of aromatic constituents that may well arise from the relative coolness and long hang time of this site. Bourcier suggests that there might be something about the 2009 growing season that particularly favors this vineyard, and it sure tastes that way to me! Its soaring and penetrating smoky and high-toned intensity seems to billow across the palate, where dark cherry and plum preserves mingle with marrowy rich meaty savor. Salt and crystalline impingements so vivid one seldom associates their like with red wine, lead to a finish that leaves my mouth tingling and my salivary glands helplessly stuck wide-open. (“Long hang time:” could have been a reference to my tongue on Chamberlin.) Above all, this wine is just plain mysterious, not only in the intrigue of its flavors, but in engendering wonder as to how it manages to taste as it does. Baron’s response to that thought is (no doubt but half in jest): “The monks and nuns of Cayuse need their own thousand years to figure that out!” Follow at least one or two bottles – assuming you’re lucky enough for this to be possible – well into their second decade. –David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate

96 Points. Rich and velvety, offering a complex mouthful of dark plum, blackberry, black olive, smoke and spice flavors that persist on the long, expressive finish. Offers depth and subtlety to go with its power. Drink now through 2019. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

95(+?) Points. Good medium red. Knockout nose combines blackberry, smoke, crushed-rock minerality, tarragon and spices; reminded me of La Landonne. Incredibly sweet, fat and deep but given a firm edge and an intense spiciness from the fermentation with stems (Baron used 30% to 40% whole clusters for his 2009 syrahs). At once opulent and succulent. The rising, very long finish displays subtle, suave, dusty tannins and uncanny sweetness of fruit. Wow! –Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

2008

98 Points. The 2008 En Chamberlin Vineyard Syrah offers up notes of tar, licorice, earthy minerals, blueberry, and blackberry. Dense and powerful on the palate, this appears to be Baron’s take on Hermitage. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

96 Points. A huge wine, fat with the characteristic Cayuse funk, and accented with plenty of meaty asphalt. Potent and powerful, bursting with berries and plums, scented with the aromas of earth and sweet (not dried) herb, chicken stock and flavors that run through the same exotic range. Round and full, forward and balanced, drinking well and maybe just a bit rounder than its brethren. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

93 Points. Bright, deep ruby-red. Captivating aromas of boysenberry and mocha. Dense, sweet and savory, with exotic flavors of candied blackberry, hickory-smoked meat and leather. The thickness of this syrah is nicely leavened by harmonious, ripe acidity. Finishes with perfectly integrated acidity and palate-staining richness. –Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

2007

100 Points. In a stunning lineup of Cayuse Syrahs, the En Chamberlin wins by a nose. It's smooth and silky, with a tongue-bending blend of flavors that include blood and iron, umami and salt, at first overtaking the pure fruit, but adding tremendous depth and power. the endless finish unfolds into a wine with exotic spices and complex layering. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

98 Points. The 2007 Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard is even more complex aromatically with its notes of crushed stone, smoked meat, espresso, truffle, blueberry, and black raspberry. Full-bodied, ripe, intensely flavored yet elegant, it has a 60-second finish that is pure silk. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

94 Points. Supple, silky and tightly focused, offering a sleek mouthful of juicy plum, blackberry and licorice flavors, picking up mineral notes of wet slate and crushed brick as the finish sails on and on. This is almost delicate in its deft balance, but has great intensity. Drink now through 2020. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2006

98 Points. The 2006 Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard is even more complex aromatically (perhaps kinky is a better word) with its notes of crushed stone, smoked meat, well-aged game, blueberry, and black raspberry. Full-bodied, ripe, intensely flavored yet elegant, it has a 60-second finish that is pure silk. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

93 Points. Silky and distinctive, showing earthy, spicy overtones to the central theme of boysenberry and pomegranate fruit, centering on cherry as the finish lingers enticingly. There's a beautifully polished texture. Best from 2011 through 2018. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2005

98 Points. The 2005 Syrah En Chamberlin is opaque purple with notes of bacon, meat, and blueberry. Totally seamless on the palate, there is plenty of craftily concealed tannin. The wine can be enjoyed now but will be so much better with another 6-8 years of cellaring. Dense and packed, the finish lasts for well over a minute. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

94 Points. The Cayuse 2005 Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard – from what Baron describes as “a normal vintage for Washington: not too hot, but ripe; (En Chamberlin Syrah having been) picked the third week of September; and the first at our new facility and with indigenous yeasts” – features strongly bittersweet, medicinal iodine- and alkali-tinged herbal and dark berry essences along with savory, smoky evocations of roasted poultry pan drippings. Its diversity; seamlessness; almost oily richness of texture; and finishing crescendo are utterly striking... –David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate

94 Points. Smooth and velvety, with a definite black olive note weaving through the blackberry, plum and white pepper flavors, which keep growing as the finish persists. Deft and filled with personality, this has plenty of power to age gracefully. Drink now through 2015. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2004

97 Points. The 2004 Syrah "En Chamberlin Vineyard" is Cote-Rotie-like in its racy style. Beautifully perfumed with aromas of bacon, sausage, truffle, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur, this super-concentrated effort is impeccably structured for the long haul. It has enough succulence to provide pleasure now but it merits 8-10 years in the bottle to fully express itself. Patient pleasure-seekers will enjoy this wine through 2040. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

94 Points. Superpolished, big and ripe. A lavish mouthful of cherry and plum, with a whole shelf of fresh spices that sail on and on. An earthy note adds interest to the aromas, and a distinct mineral undertone emerges strongly as the finish persists beautifully. Drink now through 2014. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2003

92 Points. Ruby-red. Knockout nose combines dark berries, gunflint, coffee, smoked meat and a floral element. Densely packed and tactile, with a slightly salty character to the blackberry and floral flavors. A distinctly Old World style of syrah that conveys a high- pH mouth feel. –Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

92 Points. Sadly, there are but 369 cases of the outstanding 2003 Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard. This wine’s aromas soar from the glass, displaying black raspberries, spicy tangerine skins, and horse sweat. Medium to full-bodied and suave, it coats the taster’s palate with deep layers of satiny cassis and leather-like flavors. In addition, this outstanding effort reveals a lengthy, fruit-filled, silky finish with notes of horse hide and black raspberries. Drink this wonderful Syrah over the next 5-6 years. –Pierre Rovani, The Wine Advocate

94 Points. Plush and dense with exotic spice and stone overtones to the plum and cherry flavors, a mouth filling red that coats the palate with soft, silky tannins and then drenches it with flavor. The finish sails on and on. Best from 2007 through 2015. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

Back to top.

Back to wines.

Members

Log inLogin to your Cayuse Vineyards web account.