Tasting Notes

Wine Recos

« When that bottle you've been saving breaks | Main | Dobbes 2007 Grande Assemblage Cuvée Pinot Noir »

Cayuse 2005 God Only Knows Grenache


After seeing some of the rave reviews about this wine and then trying it for myself over dinner recently, I could not help but think, "God only knows what the fuss is all about..." or maybe it's better put "God only knows how anyone could claim to taste anything but alcohol..."

I am a big fan of grenache and have enjoyed many a Washington rendition of this variety. But I just don't get it with Christophe Baron's version, the God Only Knows 2005 Grenache Cayuse Vinyeards.

At 14.7%, this wine packs a bunch beyond that delivered to one's brain stem. In the glass, this deep purple concoction is highly volatile, with the alcohol overwhelming any fruit or other notes that might normally be present with this variety.

On the palate, the Cayuse grenache was much of the same: a lot of heat without much of anything left to enjoy. Even my friend, who opened this bottle with a lamb dinner he and his wife hosted, was disappointed. In fact, he's gotten to a point where the high octane nature of Cayuse wines are starting to turn him off and making him reconsider his standing on the Cayuse futures list.

I could only tolerate a few sips before moving on to something else in our line up that evening (which included an intriguing Morrison Lane 2005 Cinsault Walla Walla Valley). For extra measure, I even tried another glass the next night with a steak dinner, but to no avail. This wine just did not measure up. Not my style in grenache, be it Washington, French, Spanish, or otherwise.

God only knows the details on how this wine was made for there are no winemaker notes to be found on the single web page that is Cayuse Vineyards. God only knows how a wine like this can receive such a reception. God only knows...

Related Links
Cayuse Vineyards Web Page
Washington Wine Guy's Review


For a second opinion, please see:


Hi Jim, I already had the links to Washington Wine Guy's review in my original post, but appreciate you highlighting nonetheless.

Is that your post or one that corresponds to the experience you had with this wine?

Just came across your review. Sorry that you had a tough experience with this wine. Our two bottles couldn't seem to be more polar opposite. Have you liked Cayuse wines in the past? I didn't get the amount of alcohol that you did. Maybe a bad bottle? Or maybe mine was just a good one! Thanks for referencing my review in your post. Cheers...WWG

Hey Jared, I used to like Cayuse wines, but as my palate has evolved, they have fallen out of favor with me. To each his or her own, but I find Christophe's style a bit overplayed for my tastes. Even still, I hold a lot of respect for his impact on the Walla Walla wine scene and his championing sustainable methods in the vineyard and winery. Thanks for sharing your perspective here.

Post a comment

(Comments will need to be approved by the site owner before it is published. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Thad Westhusing's items tagged with wine More of Thad Westhusing's stuff tagged with wine

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.