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2012 Cayuse Syrah Wallah Wallah Special #4

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2012 Cayuse Syrah Wallah Wallah Special #4

Original Wooden Case ; Single Bottle - Magnum - 1.5 Liters

Starting bid HK$3,800.00
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Tasting Notes:

Bright and jazzy, with a distinctively red cast to the color and a flavor profile of raspberry and rose petal. Powdery tannins and stony notes add to the complexity and harmony. Finishes with snap. Drink now through 2022. 257 cases made.

Tasting Notes:

Made by Christophe as a tribute to Cote Rotie and coming from a blend of estate vineyards, the 2012 Syrah Wallah Wallah #4 Special spent 22 months in older puncheons and neutral smaller barrels before being bottled only in Magnum, of which there’s only 2,500 to go around. Hitting 13.6% natural alcohol, its deep ruby, semi-opaque color is followed by fabulous notes of rose petals, incense, violets, leather and sweet raspberry. These flow seamlessly to a full-bodied, supple and elegant Syrah that has no hard edges, integrated acidity and thrilling purity of fruit. Showing more and more tannin with time in the glass, it needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and will have an easy two decades or more of longevity.

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The story began near the village of Charly-sur-Marne in the Champagne region of France, where a very young Christophe Baron walked the family vineyard with his father and grandfather. He was the youngest of the centuries-old Champagne house, Baron Albert, and his ancestors had worked the land since 1677. Like generations of fathers and sons before, it was in his blood to be a wine grower and creator—a true vigneron. “It’s a title you’re born with, not something you become or learn in school,” Christophe says. “So I followed my dad, and wherever he went, I went. That’s the way it started.” After studying viticulture in Champagne and Burgundy, Christophe realized he wasn’t yet ready to enter the family business and gave in to the urge to travel. “In Burgundy, I had fallen in love with Pinot Noir, and had met some Americans with land in Oregon,” he says. “My English was terrible, but I wanted to go there.” An unexpected internship at a winery brought Christophe to the Walla Walla Valley for the first time in 1993. After one year, he traveled the world gaining experience in Australia, New Zealand, Romania and Oregon. He intended to buy some land and start a vineyard from scratch, but all those plans came to an abrupt halt on an April morning in 1996. Christophe had returned to Walla Walla for a strictly social visit, and was wandering the countryside with a friend. As they drove near the Oregon/Washington border, he spied an open field littered with acres of softball-sized stones. Plans to move to the Willamette Valley were quickly discarded, and Christophe resolved to buy the property and plant a vineyard. While others thought the ten acres of the Walla Walla Valley farmland was only good for orchards he saw something different with enormous potential. The terroir reminded him of the cobblestones of the southern Rhone valley and Châteuneuf-du-Pape in his native France. “I almost fell on my derrière when I saw those stones,” he says. “And I’ve been living the dream ever since.” Christophe purchased the property and planted his first vineyard in 1997. “People said I was crazy, that I’d break my equipment and waste my time and money,” he recalls. “But I knew that vines need to struggle in difficult ground in order to provide their best.” He called the venture Cayuse Vineyards, after a Native American tribe whose name was derived from the French word “cailloux”—which means “stones.” In the following years, it has grown to five vineyards, encompassing a little more than 45 acres. What was considered by many a foolish gamble on that field of stones has been rewarded year after year with some of the most acclaimed wines in the region—and in the nation. “Those stones are the reason I’m here in Walla Walla,” Christophe says.