Cayuse Armada Vineyard Syrah 2008
|Appellation||Walla Walla Valley|
Wine AdvocateThe 2008Armada Vineyard Syrah takes the longest to come around according to Christophe Baron. It was aged in puncheon for 22 months. Smoked meat, game, Asian spices, lavender, and blueberry are just some of the scents composing the wine's aromatic array. In the glass it opens to reveal a pure, rich, elegant but powerful wine with a 60-second finish. It, too, will drink nicely for 10-12 years. I'm a bit cautious on my aging potential estimates because of the lack of a track record, but 10-12 years is a certainty in a cold cellar. Ho hum. Just another great set of wines from Christophe Baron. Over the past 6 years, because of my coverage of Spain for this journal, I have gotten to know Tempranillo very well. My principal observation is that it does not travel particularly well although there are outposts of very fine Tempranillo in the Uco Valley of Mendoza and in South Australia. There is one exception, Christophe Baron's small parcel of estate-grown Tempranillo. The wine's only competition, in my opinion, is Dominio Pingus, the great Tempranillo produced by Peter Sisseck in Ribera del Duero. I would like to try the wines side-by-side, the only problem being that Pingus is ten times as expensive as Impulsivo. As a postscript of sorts, Christophe Baron has created a new label called No Girls. The origin of the name is a great story but goes beyond this journal's purview. The two wines have been specifically earmarked for those who have patiently been waiting on the Cayuse mailing list. No, these are not at quite at the same level as those wines bearing the Cayuse label but, as the scores attest, they're not so bad.
Wine EnthusiastRight out of the chute, the garrigue and wild herb flavors are amazing. This is Northern Rhône in a glass, but with New World power behind the fruit. Bright and pungent, a mix of herb and tart berry and rock. Still youthful, and already packed with nuance and flavor. There has never been a Cayuse vintage that needed to be cellared more than these 2008s; this is a 20-year wine.
Wine SpectatorSupple, velvety and deftly balanced, showing distinctive black olive and tar overtones to the pretty plum and spice flavors, lingering easily on the enticing finish. Drink now through 2019. 499 cases made.