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Cayas Syrah Du Valais is a "Rhône Supérieur" Syrah, and a near legendary wine at great tables in Switzerland and the UK.
This is Syrah at its best: not just Swiss Syrah but any in the world. It is a dark brooding wine that gives an impression of something big and bold. Yet it is a more controlled, concentrated and elegant version of the great French Rhône Syrahs such as Côte-Rôtie - crisper and harmonious thanks to the cool climate.
There’s an almost-perfect balance between acidity and tannins, which gives Cayas a surprisingly crisp and harmonious finish for a Syrah - this is cool climate Syrah.
Among its many awards is a Gold Medal in Vinalies Internationales Paris and, at the Syrah du Monde 2009, a Gold Medal and the distinction of being one of the Top 10 Best Syrahs.
Up until 2012 the Cayas was in oak for 12 months. Since the 2013 vintage, it spends 24 months in oak. Well worth it!
|Arrival Date||17 Dec 2021|
|Last Tasted||17 Aug 2021|
|Winemaking||Unfiltered, Unfined, Low Added Sulphur, Barrel Fermented, Malolactic|
|Aged In||Barrel (new), Barrel (old)|
|Key Features||Oaked, Reserve, "Slow Wine", Vegetarian and Vegan|
|Available from||Online Exclusive|
|Bought In (year)||2021|
Ben says of the 2013 (February 2017):
This is one of the occasions when you wish you had kept a few bottles of the previous vintage for comparison. Cayas is always a delight and a treasure to open and enjoy but Gilles Besse, the winemaker, has made some changes in the last few years. The glorious 2010 spent twelve months in oak but the current vintage, 2013, spent twenty-four months in oak. Because of the overwhelming beauty of the wine and the extraction of aroma and flavour that Gilles manages, I am not in the least bothered from an enjoyment angle but, in a more scientific manner, I am intrigued. I shall have to hope that he invites me for a horizontal tasting of Cayas in Switzerland!
The colour is dark ruby and intense. You can sense the concentration of grapes in the wine and you are not deceived by your eyes. The aromas on the nose are big and juicy with black fruit and spices in abundance. There is nearly enough pepper there to make you sneeze!
The wine fills the mouth and the acidity and tannins spread out like ripples in a pond, bringing the flavours to all your tastebuds. Blackcurrant leads but is accompanied by other black fruits - berries and cherries - which seem to coat your tongue in an effort to retain the flavour for as long as possible.
The finish is very long and enjoyable with nothing harsh at all. This is a lovely wine that is always worth opening. I would suggest laying some down but you will need tremendous willpower to manage that!
As far as the extra time in oak is concerned, all that I can detect is that it has moved to a new level of softness and sophistication. Well done, Gilles.
Ben says of the 2015 (November 2018):
With a wine as good as Cayas, consistency is vital. With this vintage, Gilles Besse has achieved perfect consitency. Obviously fresher than the 2013 and with an initial tannic impression that will smooth with age, this is, once again, a stunningly beautiful expression of Syrah from a master winemaker.