2015 Hors Catégorie Vineyards Syrah Hors Catégorie Vineyards, Walla Walla Valley, Washington, USA
|Appellation||Walla Walla Valley|
|Producer||Hors Catégorie Vineyards|
|Packaging||Original Wood Case|
|Duty Status||In Bond|
|Provenance||Acquired from the original owner, a Hors Catégorie Vineyards mailing list subscriber who received an allocation directly from the winery; directly imported into the UK by Liquid Assets; securely stored in a climate-controlled bonded facility|
|Stock||4 cases (in stock and available immediately)|
100 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (June 2018)
The 2015 Syrah from Hors Catégorie is spectacular, bursting from the glass with a stunning bouquet of smoked charcuterie, blackberries, licorice, dried violets and rich forest floor. Structured around beautifully velvety tannins on the palate, the wine is full-bodied, layered and immensely concentrated, yet it manages to remain weightless. While there's plenty of fruit here, it's this Syrah's mouthwateringly savory qualities that define the protracted, penetrating finish and make the wine so exciting. Cropped at a mere 0.8 tons per acre from a steep hillside vineyard that's trained on stakes à la Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie, this was matured in neutral oak, with the exception of one second-fill puncheon that was eliminated after the first racking, demonstrating that when it comes to new oak and Syrah, less is emphatically more. Having seen this vineyard and tasted this wine, any skepticism that its eye-watering price might elicit is immediately dispelled.
97+ Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (April 2018)
From Christophe Baron and the team at Cayuse, the 2015 Syrah is only the second vintage from this steep, rocky vineyard located south of the town of Milton-Freewater, in the North Fork of the Walla Walla River. Despite coming from a different terroir than the Rocks region, it certainly has some classic gaminess that’s common from that region. Blackcurrants, bloody meats, ground pepper, lavender, and exotic spices all emerge from the glass, and it needs lots of air time to show at its best. Deep, full-bodied, and seamless, with sweet tannin, it’s a singular Syrah that needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will knock your socks off over the following 10-15 years.
95 Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (November 2018)
Bright medium red. Hints of roasted fruits, smoked meat, bacon fat and brown spices on the nose, plus a note of cold ash. Then wonderfully savory and energetic on the palate, conveying an uncanny light touch to its dense flavors of red berries, charred meat, spices and salty minerality. Like a fruit syrup in its mouthfeel but not at all outsized or heavy. Finishes with building tannins that saturate the tongue. This is hard to scrape off the palate. If the extraordinary 2014 bottling was Hermitage-like, this one is more akin to a Côte-Rôtie from the Côte Brune. (Christophe Baron's vineyard in the Blue Mountains is on a very steep slope at about 1,400 feet.)