Hors Categorie Vineyard

In a class of its own

From Christophe Baron, Vigneron

Hidden in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, where the north and south fork of the Walla Walla River converge, the Syrah vines of Hors Catégorie Vineyard cling to a steep hillside. Beneath ragged cliffs and surrounded by rocky outcroppings, their roots struggle for nourishment in the fractured basalt.

It’s a rare terroir, absolutely unique in America, with a climate, exposure and topography creating an incomparable wine-growing estate. “This combination of expressiveness, power and weightlessness is rare in American syrah,” said Wine Spectator’s Harvey Steiman, who visited the site in 2015 and tasted the first wine straight from the puncheon. “Hors Catégorie looks like a jewel.”

Hors Categorie vineyard

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Hors Categorie vineyard

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“Tasting like a young Hermitage La Chappelle from Jaboulet (from a great vintage).” —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

“This is proof that you should take all of the marketing spin around old vines with a grain of salt, as it comes from incredibly young vines, yet is unquestionably a blockbuster Syrah. It is going to stand by the best in the world.” —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

“Despite the young vines and unknown terroir, these have to be some of the more impressive and exciting releases in the wine world today. The only bad thing about them? There’s not enough to go around.” —Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

"Baron is right. Hors Categorie looks like a jewel....This combination of expressiveness, power and weightlessness is rare in American syrah." —Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator