Sunday, December 05, 2010

American Syrah - Cayuse

How do you decide what American Syrah wines are worthy of your money? For me its a hard decision because Syrah in the US is still finding its feet, its identity, its locale. You could buy numerous wines and still not have a thorough sampling. And would the expense be worth it? Over the last few years I have decided that I will focus on three very different wineries for my American Syrah so that I have a broad spectrum foundation. And then if I find other wines that are appealing I can add them as individual purchases.

Yesterday I received a shipment from one of my three core wineries. Cayuse of Walla, Walla, Washington. These are hard wines to source at wines shops, although that was my first experience with them. Putting your name down on the mailing list is the best way to go. I was accepted quite quickly after I applied sometime in Late 2005. And with the economy in the doldrums, now might be a good time to enquire. Current customer must be cutting back because this years offering was the first time I was successful in getting a pack (three bottles) of Bionic Frog. The Cayuse flagship Syrah. Those bottles won’t arrive until 2011. Yesterday. The two boxes contained packs of 2007 Armada, 2008 En Cerise and Cailloux. And the 2008 Cabernet, Merlot blend Camaspelo.

Why is Cayuse one of my core American Syrahs? Well the simple reason is because these are wines I liked from the first taste. They are single vineyard wines that are truly distinctive. To the point that they can be polarizing. They have a funkiness that can be of putting. To me it resembles Brett, to others its Terroir. But its really a display of character, individuality. Qualities that make these wines easily identifiable. And that is really what wine should be about, identity.

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