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Syrah Hors Catégorie Vineyard 2017

America, Washington
Biodynamic
98 WA

It’s a well-known story, how in 1997 Christophe Baron, founder and vigneron of Cayuse Vineyards, planted his first vines in a field of stones because it reminded him of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in France. In the process, he almost single-handedly brought the world’s attention to the potential of Syrah grown in the Walla Walla Valley.

His discovery of the Hors Catégorie Vineyard site in 2005 unfolded in a similarly serendipitous way. Looking just a few miles east and up-stream from that ancient stony river bed, Christophe saw a steep hillside he found eerily reminiscent of Hermitage, the legendary appellation in France’s Northern Rhone.

Once again defying conventional wisdom, he invested enormous time and expense in clearing and planting the two and a half-acre vineyard, stubbornly believing it to be “an American jewel.” Today, whether seen on a stark winter day or in the vibrance of the growing season, Hors Catégorie defies all description—appropriately, the name means “beyond categorization” or “in a class of its own” in French.

Country America
Region Washington
Appellation Walla Walla Valley
Winery Hors Catégorie
Vintage 2017
Color Red
Varietal(s) 100% Syrah
¥63,800  (incl. tax)

It’s a well-known story, how in 1997 Christophe Baron, founder and vigneron of Cayuse Vineyards, planted his first vines in a field of stones because it reminded him of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in France. In the process, he almost single-handedly brought the world’s attention to the potential of Syrah grown in the Walla Walla Valley.

His discovery of the Hors Catégorie Vineyard site in 2005 unfolded in a similarly serendipitous way. Looking just a few miles east and up-stream from that ancient stony river bed, Christophe saw a steep hillside he found eerily reminiscent of Hermitage, the legendary appellation in France’s Northern Rhone.

Once again defying conventional wisdom, he invested enormous time and expense in clearing and planting the two and a half-acre vineyard, stubbornly believing it to be “an American jewel.” Today, whether seen on a stark winter day or in the vibrance of the growing season, Hors Catégorie defies all description—appropriately, the name means “beyond categorization” or “in a class of its own” in French.

Country America
Region Washington
Appellation Walla Walla Valley
Winery Hors Catégorie
Vintage 2017
Color Red
Varietal(s) 100% Syrah
Data
Closure Natural Cork
Volume 750ml
Alcohol 14.1%
Product Code 1384617
UPC なし
Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

アメリカの宝石

オー・カテゴリーヴィンヤードのワインは、クリストフがこれまで作ってきたものとは異なります。"最初のヴィンテージである2014年のシラーを試飲したワインアドヴォケイト誌のジェブ・ダンナック氏は、”想像しがたい努力をしたチームにブラボー”と述べています。"この深みのあるルビー色の樽からのサンプルは、スモーキー、若く、椎茸、血を感じる肉を主体としたアロマとフレーバーの中に、男性的で、厳格ささえ感じさせるキャラクターを生み出している。"

Press
98Wine Advocate
Winery

Winery Description

IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN

From Christophe Baron, Vigneron

In 2011, Hors Catégorie was the first vineyard planted on the steep slope along the North Fork of the Walla Walla River. Hidden in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, Hors Catégorie Vineyard is located where the North Fork converges with the Walla Walla River. The Syrah vines cling to the hillside beneath ragged cliffs and surrounded by rocky outcroppings. Their roots struggle for nourishment in the fractured basalt.

It’s a rare terroir, absolutely unique in America, with a climate, exposure and topography creating an incomparable wine-growing estate. “This combination of expressiveness, power and weightlessness is rare in American syrah,” said Wine Spectator’s Harvey Steiman, who visited the site for the first time in 2006.

After tasting the first wine straight from 600 liter Demi-muids, Steiman wrote “The first thing that struck me was the open, almost weightless texture." He noted "...mineral notes galore, reminiscent of wet stones and hot bricks” and “hints of cinnamon, fresh-baked bread and a field of flowers.”

“Baron is right. Hors Catégorie looks like a jewel,” he continued after barrel tasting the 2014 vintage. “This combination of expressiveness, power and weightlessness is rare in American syrah.”

Front aerial view of the Hors Catégorie VineyardUpward view of the Hors Catégorie Vineyard