2016 cayuse, bionic frog syrah, walla walla valley
Why We're Buying
Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley get all the attention for wine in the United States. Cayuse Vineyards in Washington is looking to change that. Its Bionic Frog Syrah earned a 100-point rating from wine critic Jeb Dunnuck in 2016. He described it as a "magical wine" and "otherworldly."
Plump, with personality, and well-structured, with vibrant raspberry, garrigue and bacon fat flavors that build richness and focus toward polished tannins.
There’s a darker and deeper character that sets this syrah apart from the rest at Cayuse. Staggering intensity of black-fruit aromas and woody spices, as well as dark chocolate and meaty notes. The palate has a sense of total saturation and the tannins are so polished, so long and so dense. There’s an ethereal mood here, transcending individual descriptors and delivering licorice, sarsaparilla and blackberries, all bathed in hard, brown spices. Seamless, long and silky. Best from 2022 and for at least a decade after that.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Syrah Bionic Frog needs no introduction, as its reputation proceeds it. Aromas of black fruit, olive and savory herbs with hints of mustard seed waft from the nose. The palate shows soft flavors of smoke and ash over a firm core of minerality that is very pleasurable, continuing on to the long-lingering finish and aftertaste of olive and dark berries. An instant success, only 509 cases were created.
The aromas fascinate, with notes of funk, earth, savory green olive, herb, soot, umami, black pepper, black olive brine, smoked meat and caper. It shows a profound sense of intensity, balance and layering to the savory and floral flavors that continue through the long, richly flavored finish of firepit and flowers.
Pure perfection in a glass, the 2016 Syrah Bionic Frog is another magical wine from this estate and is as good as it gets. Crème de cassis, rose petals, menthol, ash, and smoky, meaty, soy sauce notes all emerge from this singular wine. Full-bodied, expansive, and powerful yet weightless on the palate, it has ultra-fine tannins, a brilliant finish, and a singular, magical character. It matches the otherworldly 2014 and 2010 and is one of the wines of the vintage. (JD)
Bright red-ruby. Urgent, very pure aromas of pungent dark cherry, black olive and chicory lifted by a floral topnote. Wonderfully silky and velvety in the mouth, but also with terrific definition to its alluring flavors of framboise, dried herbs, briny olive and dried Indian spices. This round, utterly seamless, mouthfilling Syrah finishes with ripe, noble tannins, staining the palate with late notes of minerals, black olive and blood sausage. It will need a while to absorb some of its baby fat and may well go through a closed stage in bottle at some point.