A Merlot-dominated blend, the 2011 Flying Pig checks in as 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 12 months in 50% new French oak before being moved to large oak puncheons. Deep-ruby in color, it has beautiful cassis, plum, licorice, olive tapenade and lead pencil shaving-like aromas and flavors that give way to a full-bodied, layered and concentrated 2011 that has beautifully integrated oak, plenty of mid-palate and a terrific finish. Enjoy it anytime over the coming 10-15 years. Enough can’t be said about the quality coming from this estate, and Christophe Baron, who’s assisted by Elizabeth Bourcier, produces, in this reviewer’s opinion, some of the most distinctive and exciting wines on the planet. As I said last year, there’s no secret here, and Christophe simply has fantastic terroir, works his ass off in the vineyard (everything is farmed biodynamically), and then gets out of the way in the cellar. Looking at the vintages reviewed here, his 2011s (which come from the lowest yields ever at this estate) check in at the top of the vintage and have uncommon richness and depth. Stating that it was the coolest vintage of his career, Christophe loves the European style of the wines and feels they’ll reward 5-7 years of cellaring. As a group, they show superb aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness and fresh, lively characters. (JD)
The blend on this Claret-style red is a bit different this year--half Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. As with the other 2011 Cayuse reds, this has a noticeable shift to floral, delicate aromas, with the savory/funk present but somewhat muted. The minerality under the ripe raspberry fruit gives it a crunchy feel in the mouth, lightly dusted.
Good deep, bright red. Aromas and flavors of raspberry coulis complicated by nuances of black pepper, vanilla, herbs, mocha and smoke. At once sweet and savory, with firm acidity carrying the fruit through a long saline finish featuring very suave tannins. Dense, deep and very concentrated. Baron added a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon to this wine "to fill out the middle palate and add backbone" and is now doing this every year. (ST)
Polished, round and expressive, open-textured and appealing, with tobacco-accented cherry and spice flavors, hovering intently over the long finish. (HS)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)