Happy Halloween to you all! Today we feature a real treat, one of the greats out of Washington, Horsepower Vineyards. More than 100 years ago draft horses had changed farming practices in Europe for the better. Soon after in the United States thousands of horses were working on American farms. Growing up in the Champagne region of France, superstar vigneron, Christophe Baron, saw how horses beautifully work the vineyards. His horses help cultivate vineyards ranging from 3,555 to 4,840 vines per acre with as little as 3' x 3' spacing—planted 1 vine per stake, or “sur echalas” in French. One of the most exciting vineyards in Washington State, the Sur Echalas Vineyard creates wines that are so profound they’re nearly impossible to describe. The struggle of the vines in these close quarters creates a remarkable tension and intensity. These stunning wines are made by Christophe and his highly talented assistant vigneronne, Elizabeth Bourcier.
Starting with their first 2011 vintage, the 2014 Horsepower releases are some of the best wines that I have tried in the past year from Washington. Stunning, and captivating, the 2014 Horsepower ‘Sur Echelas Vineyard’ Grenache (WWB, 98) can be up there with the world’s best Grenache. This scintillating bottling shows incredible range and tension. Not far behind is the ridiculously good 2014 Horsepower ‘Sur Echelas Vineyard’ Syrah (WWB, 97) which has loads of mouthwatering acidity and an intoxicating bouquet. Learn more about these very special wines at https://horsepowervineyards.com/horsepowervineyards/
2014 Horsepower ‘Sur Echelas Vineyard’ Grenache- The 2014 Horsepower ‘Sur Echelas Vineyard’ Grenache is a true heavyhitter by Cayuse. Sourced from this high density vineyard, this wine has stunning aromatics. Poppori, white pepper, Umami, horse manure and blood orange rind. The aromas create a mouth watering experience that is hard to describe. The tension of this wine is unlike any other. Cherry starburst candy, Umami, blood orange, lemon oil, black truffle and white pepper. This wine makes you think about the terroir. Poised and downright delicious, this wine will cellar marvelously for a decade or more. Drink 2017-2027- 98
2014 Horsepower ‘Sur Echelas Vineyard’ Syrah-The vines from this vineyard were planted 3X3, as this is extremely high density. The wine was aged in neutral oak for 8 months prior to bottling. Green peppercorn, black olive tapenade, ash, smoked pork shoulder and Umami as well as citrus elements on the nose. The bouquet is intoxicating as is the purity of fruit on the palate. Hoisin sauce, black tea, Umami and black olive tapenade as well as blood orange show off this highly refined wine. This is another stunner by the superstar winemakers at Cayuse. Drink 2017-2027- 97
2014 Horsepower ‘The Tribe’ Vineyard’ Syrah- Sourced from a 3.2 acre vineyard, this wine begins with aromatics reminiscent of smoked brisket, black olive, wild boysenberry liquor and creosote. This has a wonderful freshness and intensity. This has ripe blackberry, black olive tapenade, smoked pork shoulder, bacon fat and creosote with blood orange flavors. This has wonderful intensity and balance. Drink 2017-2027- 95