Cayuse Wine Tasting at Wine Watch Wine Bar

Friday, June 30, 2017 - 07:30 PM

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"It’s just booze - drink it!" Charles Smith


And we are now open at Wine Watch Wine Bar so come out and drink with us every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night until we open full time in the fall.


We love the wines of Washington State and although Walla Walla (the town so nice the named it twice) is 1/3 in the state of Oregon, the wines here are so distinct because of the dirt that you only have to indicate Walla Walla on the label and not which state you are in.  Most wine drinking people probably think of the state of Washington when Walla Walla is brought up in conversation as this is like the Napa Valley of Washington and is one of the most charming wine regions that you will visit.

Washington State’s most sought after wines is actually partially from Oregon, this is irrelevant as when you think of Oregon wines you think of Pinot Noir when it comes to red wine and Cayuse will always be associated with Washington State as you have mainly Rhone Varietals. 

When the native Frenchman Christophe Baron drove through this region on his way from the Oregon wine country to meet a girl in Walla Walla Washington he noticed the unique geological formation which is today known as “The Rocks” which reminded him of the Rhone Valley in France and the rest is history.  He is considered to be one of the founders of this appellation and the Cayuse wines are truly sublime. 

So when I recently acquired this collection of Cayuse wines I immediately put this “Once in a Lifetime Tasting” together before someone came and bought them from us!!  You know I would rather drink the worlds’ greatest wines than sell them- that’s the reason I got this job to do tastings like this!!

Join us as we experience nine wines from one of Washington/Oregon’s best.  This event will take place in the new Wine Watch Wine Bar and there are only 12 spaces available for this event.  The fee for this tasting is $195 + tax which is ½ the price of one bottle of most vintages of the Bionic Frog and we are serving three!!  For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

And just in case you can’t make the event I have included all of the great wines from Washington State on this offering!


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Cayuse Walla Walla Wine Tasting at Wine Watch Wine Bar
Friday, June 30th


Image result for 2009 Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo Walla Walla

2009 Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo Walla Walla
Price: $160.00    Sale Price: $120.00
Quantity in Stock: 1

(97+ Points) More ripe and decadent than the 2010, yet still showing the focused elegance that this cuvee always has, the 2009 Impulsivo has lots of plum, wood spice, beef broth and toasted bread notes in a full-bodied, layered and massively rich style. There’s lots of pleasure to be had here now, but it’s another wine that will see its 20th birthday in fine form. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

Image result for 2009 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard Walla Walla

2009 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard Walla Walla


(97 points) A much more voluptuous, concentrated and obviously great Syrah, the 2009 Syrah Armada Vineyard yields lots of plum sauce, spice, licorice and crushed rock aromas and flavors to go with a full-bodied, layered, pedal-to-the-metal style. This is a great wine that will have 20-25 years of longevity. 97+ Points (JD) (5/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Image result for 2008 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Walla Walla

2008 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Walla Walla

(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.  Wine Advocate #196 Aug 2011

Image result for 2007 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard

2007 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard Walla Walla
Price: $170.00    Sale Price: $140.00
Quantity in Stock: 1

(98 points) Checking in at the same alcohol level of 14.2% as the 2008, the 2007 Syrah Armada Vineyard is a noticeably bigger, richer, more full-bodied wine that exhibits thrilling white pepper, underbrush, cedary spice and sweet dark fruits on both the nose and palate. Big, full-bodied, decadent and massive, yet still balanced and even elegant, it has surprising tannic grip through the finish and certainly doesn’t lack for length. It’s beautiful now for sure, but will be even better in another 2-3 years. 98+ (JD) (6/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Image result for 2007 Cayuse Syrah En Cerise Walla Walla

2007 Cayuse Syrah En Cerise Walla Walla

(98 points) The 2007 Syrah En Cerise Vineyard (100%) is a glass-coating opaque purple color. On the nose espresso, smoked meat, olives, and garrigue-like aromas offer much to contemplate. Intense, balanced, and subtly elegant, it boasts a finish that just won’t quit. It delivers impressive immediate gratification, but those who can wait for 5-7 years will be well rewarded. (8/2010) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Image result for 2007 Cayuse Syrah En Chamberlin

2007 Cayuse Syrah En Chamberlin Walla Walla

(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. (JM) (8/2010) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Image result for 2009 Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah Walla Walla

2004 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog Walla Walla
Price: $450.00    Sale $396
Quantity in Stock: 1

(99 Points) The 2004 Bionic Frog Coccinella Vineyard was aged in 100% Dominique Laurent magic cask barrels, 25% of them new. Opaque purple-colored, the wine has a fabulous perfume of violets and lavender as well grilled meat, game, and blueberry compote. Dense, powerful yet elegant, this splendid effort demands a decade of cellaring and should drink well through 2045. If that is not enough, I tasted a barrel sample of a 2005 Grenache which rivals the best grown in the USA. Could it be that before long Manfred Krankl of SQN will be known as the Christophe Baron of the Central Coast? Wine Advocate #172, Aug 2007

Image result for 2009 Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah Walla Walla

2007 Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah Walla Walla
Price: $375.00    Sale Price: $275.00
Quantity in Stock: 4

(95 points) The Cayuse 2007 Syrah Bionic Frog emphasizes sappy, bittersweet, dark berry and herbal concentrates on a palate whose plushness, viscosity, and fine grain of tannin resemble those of Cailloux from the same vintage tasted alongside. Brown spices, peat-like smokiness, and medicinal elements that straddle the borders of mineral, herbal and fruit character all lead to a superbly long, soothing finish that contrasts with the burst of enervating finishing energy in the corresponding Cailloux. I suspect this will hold up well for at least another 6-8 years. Wine Advocate #204 Dec 2012

Image result for 2009 Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah Walla Walla

2009 Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah Walla Walla
Price: $300.00    Sale Price: $250.00

(96 points) Cayuse's 2009 Syrah Bionic Frog originates in the Coccinelle Vineyard, planted in 1998, which features iron-rich clay with significant fine earth run-off from the nearby Blue Mountains, and, paradoxically, dries out quickest. In more ways than one, it's the opposite of En Chamberlin. This is, 90% of the time, the Syrah that we pick first, notes Baron, which was September 24 in 2009. Vinification was in concrete (though future vintages will ferment in recently-arrived wooden uprights), and the mix of barrels“ all Dominique Laurent's self-styled magic barriques (which until 2011 was the favored medium for this bottling)“ was around 20-30% new. Baron and Bourcier explain how they like what these barrels have done for the Bionic Frog, but, adds Baron: My style of wine should not be based on a cooper, and I don't want to be dependent on one man's barrel. Red and black raspberries as well as cherries“ seemingly simultaneously in confitured, fresh, and distilled formats“ are mingled with nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, black tea and salted caramel on the nose; and then again on a strikingly bright, sappy palate, leading to a finish of rapier penetration and compulsive saliva-inducement. The charm, mystery, and intricacy exhibited by a couple of other splendid wines in the present collection might be missing here, but the sheer energy, persistence, and, for lack of a better word, umami-savor are amazing. It's a brave man who would want to forsake the formul behind this bit of alchemy, even if it depends on barrels whose alleged secret is guarded by an almost eccentrically passionate Burgundian winemaker! Almost unbelievably, Baron informs me that he thinks this wine is shy and in its shell right now; but I'm not buying that to the extent of including a plus sign or a plus with question mark after my score! Only around half the fruit was destemmed for this, incidentally; Baron says it was Verset who inspired him to the potential of vendange entier. This should be well worth following for 15 or more years. Wine Advocate #204, Dec 2012

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Tomme De Rabelais and ComtE Cheese

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

Blackberry tar with blue cheese ice cream


There are only 12 spaces available for this event and the fee for this tasting is $195 + tax.  Call 954-523-9463 for reservations or e-mail

If you have special dietary needs don’t let that keep you at home for any of our events Toni is always willing to accommodate your needs when it comes to the menu, simply let us know when you make your reservation of your preferences and Toni will take care of you.


A bit about Cayuse Vineyards:

Currently, Cayuse farms five vineyards spread over 60 acres in the Walla Walla Valley. All are planted in the stony soil that first caught Christophe’s attention in 1996, resulting in highly stressed vineyards that average a yield of only two tons per acre. Syrah is the dominant fruit, with Cabernet-Franc, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Tempranillo and Viognier making up the balance.
All Cayuse wines are from estate fruit, and Christophe believes their true fingerprints are in the minerality. “The point is to create an honest wine that has an identity,” he says. “You want to taste the place.” As a result, each of his creations is true to the unique terroir of his vineyards:
Cailloux Vineyard—Christophe’s first Walla Walla Valley vineyard, this 10-acre plot was our first vineyard planted in the stones of Milton Freewater in 1997, and produces the flagship Cailloux Syrah.
Coccinelle Vineyard—It’s the French word for “ladybug,” and this 4.5-acre was first planted in 1998. Bionic Frog Syrah is produced from this vineyard.
En Cerise Vineyard—Literally translated, it means “cherry”—appropriate since this 10-acre vineyard planted in 1998 was a cherry orchard in its former life. En Cerise Vineyard Syrah and grapes for the Flying Pig and Camaspelo Bordeaux blends are grown here.
En Chamberlin Vineyard—2000 saw the planting of 10 more stony acres. Grafted on phyloxera resistant rootstock, it's another first for our region. This vineyard produces The Widowmaker Cabernet-Sauvignon, Impulsivo Tempranillo and En Chamberlin Syrah.
Armada Vineyard—At 1815 vines per acre, this 7-acre vineyard, created in 2001, was the highest density planting in the Walla Walla Valley until 2008. Notable wines include Armada Vineyard Syrah, God Only Knows Grenache and Edith Grenache Rosé.
Terroir 101
Christophe’s excitement over the field of stones he discovered on that cold April morning in 1996 was for good reason. He had seen similar terroir in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, and in the “galets roulés” [rolled stone] vineyards in southern France. The area has even been dubbed “Oregon’s Châteuneuf-du-Pape,” home to some of the finest grapes grown in the northwestern United States. Christophe believes great wines must deliver a mineral quality—something his stony ground offers in abundance.
Experts on the terroir of Cayuse vineyards describe vine roots snaking through an accumulation of cobblestones of varying sizes, a layer hundreds of feet thick in places. This soil, called “Freewater very cobbly loam,” sits atop 10,000 feet or more of pure basalt—a 15-million-year-old bedrock stratum that’s a part of one of the largest areas of basalt lava on the surface of the earth, outside the ocean basins.
“Wherever you go, there is something great terroir has in common—poor soils,” Christophe explains. Because the stony soil offers excellent drainage and limited nutrients, the vines have to struggle to produce their precious fruit. High density planting forces their root systems to compete and dig deeper for moisture and sustenance, and the heat transmitted by the stones helps the grapes to ripen.
It all makes sense when Christophe explains it, and as he says, “The proof is in the wine.”
The creation of Christophe’s stony find can be traced back to the Missoula Floods, a series of geologic cataclysms that swept across Eastern Washington and down the Columbia Gorge at the end of the last ice age, between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago.
The massive floods, caused by periodic ruptures in the ice dam that created Montana’s Glacial Lake Missoula, inundated the Walla Walla Valley at least 35 times, experts say. At its highest point, the water elevation was about 1200 feet—or the equivalent of 150 feet higher than the top of Walla Walla’s tallest building, the 12–story Marcus Whitman Hotel.
To make a long, complicated tale deceivingly simple, each time those waters receded and the Walla Walla River rushed back into the Valley, the layers of sand and silt deposited by the floods were swept away and replaced with pebbles, cobbles, and boulders derived from the basalt bedrock of the nearby Blue Mountains. These gravels accumulated over time, creating a 12-square mile alluvial fan of 3,770 acres where the river exits the Blue Mountains. The fan’s viticultural potential sat unappreciated until Christophe’s arrival several thousand years later.
The chemistry of the alluvial fan soils that host the Cayuse vines is quite different than that of most other soils of the Walla Walla AVA. While sediments throughout much of the appellation are derived from Missoula Flood sediments that are rich in granite-derived silica, sodium, and potassium, Cayuse vineyard sediments are derived from Blue Mountains basalt, and loaded with iron, magnesium and calcium.
It’s a difference Christophe believes can be tasted in the wine, revealing the unique character and tempestuous history of the land itself. “Minerality is what makes the fruit intriguing and distinctive,” he says. And thanks to the power struggle between the Missoula Floods and the Walla Walla River, there’s plenty of excitement in every glass of Cayuse. 

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