Below are my Wine Enthusiast reviews for October 2017. Wines are listed alphabetically by winery. Read additional information on how I review wines here. All of these reviews are freely available on-line at the Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide. There is also a freely available Wine Enthusiast Tasting Guide app. See previous Wine Enthusiast reviews re-published in this space here. Search Wine Enthusiast‘s on-line database here.
25 reviews in the October 2017 issue. Enjoy!
Aubichon Cellars 2015 Reserve Grenache The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater $45 91 points
Light in color, this offers alluring peat, white pepper, herb, earth and raspberry aromas. It dances on the palate, showing elegance and sophistication and bringing plenty of intrigue.
Cayuse 2014 Impulsivo En Chamberlain Vineyard Tempranillo Walla Walla Valley (OR) $95 93 points
Alluring aromas of moist earth, cassis bud, olive, nori, pipe tobacco, charcoal, funk and mineral give way to lithe fruit and savory flavors with an ultra soft feel. The texture is absolutely dazzling.
Cayuse 2014 Wallah Wallah Special #6 Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $175 93 points
This wine—only released in magnum—comes from a blend of vineyards across the portfolio. The aromas pop, with complex notes of stems, nori, sea salt, green olive, fire pit, tapenade, flowers and mineral. The smoked meat, firepit and stem flavors are intense and savory, drawing out on the finish.
Cayuse 2014 Armada Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $97 93 points
The aromas are initially more fruit forward than often seen from this area, with notes of plum followed by ash, black pepper, Stargazer lilies, charcuterie and iron. The flavors are palate coating and dense in feel, lingering on the finish. It needs some time in the cellar to truly show its stuff. Best after 2022. Cellar Selection
Cayuse 2014 Bionic Frog Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $105 94 points
Aromatically brooding notes of herb, mineral, black olive tapenade, stem, flower, soot and plum lead to vibrant, concentrated fruit and umami flavors. It’s an intense wine that brings a great sense of tension, along with abundant minerality. Give it time to open up.
Cayuse 2014 En Chamberlain Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $85 93 points
Brooding aromas of crushed rock, mineral, black olive, soot, cracked black pepper, charcuterie and dried herb lead to fresh, focused flavors that are flavorful but remain light on their feet. It shows a bit more tannic heft than this area often shows along with great length on the meaty finish.
Cayuse 2014 En Cerise Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $85 93 points
The aromas are brooding, with notes of ash, raw meat, smoke, herb, stem, blood orange and mineral. The palate brings a sense of freshness to the generous savory flavors, showing a bit of tannic heft on the finish that should settle with additional time in the bottle.
Cayuse 2014 Cailloux Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $85 94 points
The aromas of this wine leap from the glass, with notes of orange peel, potpourri, smoked meat, spice, fresh herb, stem, ash and plum. It’s expressive, but still wound up. The flavors are focused, concentrated and savory, bringing a sense of intensity and richness but also lightness. The balance is exquisite.
Cayuse 2014 Widowmaker En Chamberlain Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley (OR) $95 93 points
The aromas are expansive and mineral laden, with notes of earthy funk, wet stone, fire pit, graphite, peat, grilled meat and cassis. The palate is soft in texture, ripe and intense, with a compelling mixture of fruit and savory flavors that interweave through the extended finish. The balance is exquisite.
Cayuse 2014 Camaspelo Red Blend Walla Walla Valley (OR) $85 92 points
The aromas are light, with notes of moist earth, smoke, cassis, herb and berry. The saline and fruit flavors are silky in feel, bringing a sense of concentration and texture that keeps the interest high. There’s plenty of minerality throughout along with a lengthy finish.
Cayuse 2014 The Lovers Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $97 92 points
Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 85% of this wine, with the balance Syrah. Bright aromas of plum, cassis, spice, herb, green pepper, blackberry bud and smoke are followed by a fruit forward palate showing a lovely sense of texture, balance and tension, with graphite notes throughout. It’s remarkably fruit-filled for a wine from this region.
Cayuse 2014 Flying Pig Bordeaux-style Red Blend Walla Walla Valley (OR) $95 91 points
A blend of Merlot (50%), Cabernet Franc (40%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), this aromatic wine brings aromas of funk, earth, truffle, fire pit, dried peat, herb and cherry. The flavors are soft, silky and refined, showing a sense of grace—a very pretty expression of a Bordeaux-style blend.
Cayuse 2014 God Only Knows Red Blend Walla Walla Valley (OR) $97 93 points
Mostly Grenache, the aromas are vibrant, with notes of orange peel, stem, funk, smoked meat, white pepper, herb and crushed flower. It’s light on its feet with abundant raspberry and earth flavors that draw out on the finish.
Cayuse 2015 Edith Grenache Rosé Walla Walla Valley (OR) $50 90 points
This wine is a very appealing pale bronze color with a light peach tinge. It brings bountiful aromas of wet rock, mountain strawberry and herb that lead to a dry, broad, flavorful palate, with mouthwatering fruit and stone flavors.
Cayuse 2015 Cailloux Vineyard Viognier Walla Walla Valley (OR) $75 92 points
Aged in a mixture of concrete and stainless steel, this wine brings perfumed aromas of crushed stone, flowers and peach. The flavors are mineral laden, broad and silky in feel, showing an impeccable texture and sense of balance. This shows a beautiful sense of freshness.
Hors Categorie 2014 Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $240 96 points
This is a new project from Christophe Baron. The aromas pop, with notes of earth, plum, nori, iron, sea salt, herb, olive tapenade, black pepper and smoked meat. The palate is concentrated and structured, with rich yet restrained bacon fat and smoke flavors that bring a sense of vibrancy and richness along with a near endless finish. It brings a fair amount of tannic heft that will benefit from some additional time in the bottle. Best from 2024-2028. Cellar Selection
Horsepower 2014 Sur Echalas Vineyard Grenache Walla Walla Valley (OR) $120 95 points
The aromas explode with notes of potpourri, olive, smoked meat, fire pit, orange peel, mineral, mushroom, garrigue and white pepper. The palate is lifted, bright but intensely flavored, loaded with flower, berry, olive and charcuterie flavors. The finish seems near endless and the sense of balance is exquisite. It’s shockingly good.
Horsepower 2014 Sur Echalas Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $120 94 points
Alluring and intense aromas of soot, campfire, charcuterie, black pepper, herb, crushed flowers and liquid stone lead to a broadly rich, intense, flavorful palate, absolutely loaded with fruit and savory flavors that glide on the extended finish.
Horsepower 2014 The Tribe Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $120 94 points
Lighter in color, this wine is aromatic and expressive, with notes of fire pit, blood, black olive tapenade, sea salt, black pepper, cured meat, nori, crushed flowers and umami. The palate brings soft, lithe, focused notes of earth and savory flavors that shimmer on the salty finish. It’s all about delicacy but the aroma and flavor expression is compelling. Give it some time in the cellar or decant.
No Girls 2014 La Paciencia Vineyard Grenache Walla Walla Valley (OR) $75 94 points
Quite light in color, the aromas bring initially locked up but then broadly expansive notes of peat, green olive, white pepper, strawberry, Stargazer lilies, mineral and herb, showing a lot of complexity. The palate is textured, bringing a profound mixture of fruit and savory flavors that intertwine effortlessly on the long finish. It brings a sense of tension, texture and finesse that is completely captivating. Editor’s Choice
No Girls 2014 La Paciencia Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $75 92 points
This wine starts out quite locked up, with aromas of flowers, plum, dried herb, black pepper and mineral, showing more fruit expression than this area is often known for. The palate is on the lighter side of medium bodied, bringing a sense of elegance, sophistication and freshness.
No Girls 2014 Tempranillo Walla Walla Valley (OR) $75 91 points
The aromas rise up from the glass, with notes of pepper, violet, cigar box, peat, smoke, braised meat and an earthy funk. The palate is considerably lighter in style than the aromas might suggest, bringing notes of cherry, earth and herb that linger, with citrus twist notes on the finish.
Primarius 2016 Pinot Gris Oregon $14 86 points
This wine opens with light aromas of freshly sliced red apple, pineapple and spice. The palate brings broad fruit flavors that go down easy.
Primarius 2015 Pinot Noir Oregon $17 87 points
This is pale in color, with light aromas and strawberry, spice and herb notes. The fruit flavors are also restrained, seeming faint but still bringing appeal.
Primarius 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir Willamette Valley $22 89 points
Light in color, this wine brings pleasing, pure aromas of peppermint, strawberry, sarsaparilla and cherry. The flavors are light, elegant and juicy, providing a lot of appeal.
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