Even better than the ’08 and checking in at the top end of the barrel score, the 2009 Cayuse Grenache God Only Knows is a wild, exotic Grenache blend that yields loads of smoked meats, lavender, ground pepper, and wild herb qualities on the nose. Perfumed, intense, and complex aromatically, this excels on the palate as well, and is full-bodied, voluptuously textured, and very long. It’s gorgeous now, yet should evolve for 10-15 years.
Fresh strawberry and elderberry are tinged with birch bark extract, black tea, and basil, making for an aromatically intriguing and lip-smacking palate presence. An upwelling of beef marrow and a Syrah- (or Gewurztraminer-) like hint of smoked meat add to the wine’s saliva-inducing savor. Here is a really vivid illustration of how the best Washington wines offer nearly luxuriant richness and sweet berry intensity but at the same time exhilarating vibrancy and lift. And, true to Baron’s repeatedly stated intentions, there are – beyond salt, stone, and smoky aura of black tea – elements impinging on this wine’s superbly sustained finish that can only be called “mineral,” even if one can’t find further words for them... Incidentally, the wine was vinified in concrete and then aged in demi-muids plus one concrete egg. Apropos controlling alcohol and enhancing ripe flavors (for more on which, see my winery introduction), this beauty clocked in at what – in comparison with other recent vintages – counts as a modest 14.3%, despite its warm growing season; yet as you can tell from my description, there’s nothing under-ripe about its performance! (DS)
This Grenache leaps into another dimension, with more concentration, earth, umami and salinity than ever before, yet it retains its elegance thanks to a crisp finish of raspberry and rock flavors. Reminiscent in a way to high-altitude Argentine Malbec, this will cellar well for a decade or more. *Cellar Selection* (PG)
Good medium-dark red. Very ripe aroma of strawberry liqueur. Intensely flavored and gripping; broad without coming across as heavy. Wild berry and smoke flavors are accented by a peppery element. Finishes subtle and long, with substantial fine, dusty tannins. (ST)
Dark, dense and spicy, with wafts of black olive and tar sneaking around the edges of the blackberry and purple plum fruit, remaining open-textured and complex through the long finish. (HS)
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