As we set sail to what has been a marvelous Washington Wine Month we bring to you one of the exclusive new wineries by superstar vigneron Christophe Baron. Literally translated to ‘in a class of its own’ Hors Catégorie is a magnificent expression of terroir in a bottle. Sourced from a mere 2 acre vineyard hidden in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, the Hors Catégorie Vineyard is a sight to be seen. Having visited the steep slopes with vigneron, Christophe Baron, I was amazed at this old world style of vineyard. The grade was so steep that you could barely climb to the top. At the halfway point, Christophe suggested that we both run the rest of the way to the top which was actually a great suggestion. As I wiped the beads of sweat off my forehead I gazed out at the incredible views from the top of the vineyard as Christophe talked about the huge undertaking of crafting this incredible vineyard. Creating this two acre vineyard was a remarkable achievement.
True to any project by Christophe, spacing at the vineyard is extremely tight. The terroir was largely stony with thick broken basalt sprinkled everywhere. You can almost feel the tension in the wines from the struggle of each individual vine. Back at the tasting studio I had a chance to finally review the 2014 Hors Catégorie Syrah. This wine was downright intoxicating. The terroir in Hors Catégorie is completely different than the stony character of his Milton-Freewater Vineyards. It is hard to describe this incredible tasting experience. Once in the mouth, layer upon layer descends on you, ranging from red fruit to dark fruit to Umami. This wine is truly a delight to savor, as it is a near perfect masterpiece -- it is simply brilliant stuff by Christophe Baron. Learn more about this exciting project at https://horscategorievineyards.com/horscategorievineyards/ Here is the new review for the 2014 Hors Catégorie Syrah.
2014 Hors Catégorie Syrah- This utterly compelling Syrah is sourced from the Hors Catégorie Vineyard outside of Walla Walla. This steeply sloped two-acre vineyard is planted on stakes beneath ragged cliffs and surrounded by rocky outcroppings with vines digging through the fractured basalt. One of the most fascinating wines I have tasted from the region, this deeply colored Syrah begins with vivid aromatics of red cherries and blood orange coming together with umami and barn floor. The aromas are absolutely seductive, constantly bringing you back to the glass for more. The balance and purity of fruit is outstanding, as this wine showcases a variety of complex flavors including red and dark fruits which sit alongside green peppercorn, umami, smoked bacon, Earl Grey tea and coffee. The mouthfeel and textural presence of this wine is mind-numbing. Overall, this is a absolutely majestic wine from Christophe Baron which will cellar beautifully for a decade or more. Drink 2017-2030- 99