0 immediate, 8 marketplace
Average critic rating : 96.0 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. ||These singular efforts are made by Champagne transplant, Christophe Baron, from his winemaking studio that lies just outside of the town of Milton-Freewater, in Oregon. I doubt these wines need any introduction, yet it is worth pointing out that it is rare to find such a complex and diverse portfolio today where all of the wines are at such a high level. Certainly, this unique terroir has something to do with it, yet Christophe falls into the realm of the Manfred Krankls and Michel Chapoutiers of the world, who stand apart from the crowd and produce a range of incredible wines that always make me scratch my head and wonder what, exactly, is going on. Having visited with Christophe and tasted these wines over the past 4-5 years now, both from barrel and bottle, I don’t believe there’s any hidden magic going on and it is a dedication to the vineyard, to low yields and to a simplistic, hands-off approach in the cellar that creates these singular wines. Looking at the recently bottled releases, 2010 is an interesting case where the wines are still tight and compact at this stage. For comparison, the 2009s at this time last year has completely filled in and fleshed out and were showing heart-rate-increasing levels of fruit and texture while these 2010s are more reserved, focused and medium to full-bodied at this stage, with supple textures and focused profiles. I don’t think they’ll hit the high of the 2007s, 2008s and 2009s, hence, they’re rated a handful of points below those wines. Nevertheless, they will continue to gain in richness and depth over the coming 3-4 years and will warrant these lofty ratings. Made in a similar vein, the 2011s actually have additional richness and concentration over the 2010s and have beautiful mid-palate density and depth, as well as ripe tannic frames. They should match, or surpass, the 2010s.||Tel. (509) 526-0686; www.cayusevineyards.com Wine Advocate.June, 2013
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