2017 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog Cayuse, Walla Walla Valley, Washington, USA
98 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (April 2020)
The 2017 Syrah Bionic Frog is in the running for the wine of the vintage. An incredibly elegant expression of this cuvée, it reveals an almost opaque purple hue to go with stunning, Jamet Cote Rotie-like notes of black raspberries, spring flowers, bacon fat, green olives, and sweet mulch. More cured meats and salted pork notes develop with time in the glass, and it’s a wonderfully complex, layered, nuanced Syrah. Boasting medium to full-bodied richness on the palate, flawless balance, and a great, great finish, it’s the polish, elegance, and silky feel to the tannins that set this beauty above just about every other wine out there. It’s unquestionably gorgeous today (give it an hour or more in a decanter) yet has a solid 15-20 years of prime drinking ahead of it.
98 Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate (August 2020)
Part of the magic that happens with the 2017 Syrah Bionic Frog is that it is opaque with neon purple edges without being inky and massive. With classic Syrah tones of smoked meat, leather, lavender, lilac and black pepper, the wine is rich with aromas of blackberry, black raspberry and smoked plum. Medium to full-bodied, the wine explodes with intention and precision on the palate, with an immaculate balance and crystal-clear focus. Brilliantly structured, the wine continues to evolve with subtle and seamlessly integrated spice tones compounded by a mineral tension and a floral lift to make this wine float across the mid-palate. The wine glides effortlessly to a long, winding finish with persistence and the elegance of silk. The vibrancy of flavor remains in the mouth long after the wine has left. For a wine this dark and this full-flavored, yet as graceful and agile on the palate as it is, you’ll be hard-pressed to put down the glass; I certainly can’t keep my hands off of it. This is stunningly beautiful, and with only 516 cases made, it should be sought after by top collectors from around the world.
96 Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (December 2020)
Bright red-ruby. Pungent, pure, wonderfully complex scents of blackberry, dark raspberry, crushed herbs, meat, graphite and black olive accented by black pepper. Incredibly precise, concentrated, saline wine with a sexy wildness and exceptional inner-mouth lift to its flavors of dark berries, licorice, olive tapenade and luncheon meats. Thick and savory but not heavy or flat, this is a great New World Syrah. Finishes salty but alive, with terrific firm but integrated tannins and steadily building length. A great vintage for this wine--maybe better than the 2016--with superb lift and structure for aging. Keeps its thickness and juiciness through the peppery, wild, very long aftertaste. Wow!