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Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah
Christophe Baron grew up among the vineyards and cellars of his family's centuries-old Champagne house, Baron Albert. His sense of adventure, however, led him to become the first Frenchman to establish a winery in Washington State.
While visiting the Walla Walla Valley in 1996, Christophe spotted a plot of land that had been plowed up to reveal acres of softball-sized stones. This stony soil, this terroir, was just like that of some of the most prestigious French appellations. The difficult ground would stress the grapevines, making them produce more mature, concentrated fruit.
He named his vineyard after the Cayuse, a Native American tribe whose name was taken from the French cailloux--which means, rocks. Hours of back-breaking work later, Cayuse Vineyards has become five vineyards encompassing 41 acres.
The majority is planted with Syrah, and the rest dedicated to Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Roussanne, Tempranillo and Viognier. All of the vineyards are planted in rocky earth within the Walla Walla Valley appellation. Cayuse was the first winery in Washington State to use biodynamic farming methods.
The 2019 The Lovers checks in as 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah, and its deeper ruby/plum hue gives way to a plump, juicy, more forward wine offering lots of red and black currant fruits, notes of tobacco leaf, sweet earth, and graphite, medium to full body, and a rounded, textured, already delicious style on the palate. There's no harm in opening bottles today, yet it has 15-20 years of longevity.
The 2019 The Lovers opens slowly in the glass, delicate and nuanced, with a dusty mix of dried flowers, incense, currants and wild blueberries offset by a hint of wet stone. This soothes with its silken textures and balance of vividly ripe fruits and stimulating acidity. As the name implies, this is almost sensual in character, supple and giving yet stimulating, leaving violet inner florals and hints of confectionary spice that mingle above a gentle tug of fine tannins. The Lovers is a truly seductive blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah that is raised for 21 months in 30-40% new and neutral oak French