Grown in the 3-acre The Tribe Vineyard and planted at 3.5’ x 3.5’ spacing. Biodynamically farmed.
The 2015 vintage was the hottest on record, offering here a broader, more approachable palate than the other vintages tasted. The wine is perfumed, lifted, and even floral with notes of violet, grapefruit blossom, fruit and pith, and black olive and olive leaf.
The palate is juicy and quite lengthy with a lot of persistence, and more than that seen in the Sur Echalas from the same vintage. Beautiful. Distinctive and singular.
Drink 2019 - 2032
Elaine Chukan Brown, JancisRobinson.com (July 2022)
Of these three offerings from Horsepower, the 2015 Syrah The Tribe Vineyard will require the most time, as it's the most tight-knit at this early stage, slowly unwinding in the glass with savory aromas of raw cocoa, tapenade, nori and ripe blackberries. On the palate, it's full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a rich chassis of satiny structuring tannins and a layered, umami-laden core of fruit. At 13.6% alcohol, it's also beautifully balanced.
Drink 2022 - 2040
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (June 2018)
This shows beautifully executed freshness and complexity with charcuterie, graphite, abundant spice and a dusting of pepper, bright berry fruits and an enchanting floral edge. The palate has light, playful tannins and is wildly charming and lacy; it offers blackberries and spiced red cherries wrapped neatly. Syrah at its ethereal best.
Drink or hold
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (December 2018)
Cut from the same cloth, the 2015 Syrah The Tribe Vineyard offers slightly more depth and length. Blackcurrants, ground pepper, smoked earth, and a beef broth-like meatiness emerges from this full-bodied, deep, layered Syrah that offers more purity and floral nuances with time in the glass.
Like the Sur Echalas Vineyard release, it has silky tannin, integrated acidity, and a great finish. Give it 2-3 years of bottle age, and it will drink nicely for a decade. If drinking anytime soon, don’t be afraid to give all these Horsepower releases plenty of airtime.
The Horsepower wines are made at Cayuse yet from their own vineyards farmed exclusively by horses. The wines share many similarities with the Cayuse releases yet have slightly more backward profiles that demand bottle age to show at their best.
Drink 2021 - 2031
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (April 2018)
From an Alban massale selection of Syrah planted at a density of 3-1/2 by 3-1/2 feet in 2009; the 2015 Horsepower wines were bottled in December of 2017.
Good medium red. Musky black raspberry, truffle and game on the nose, lifted by high notes of mint and herbs. At once tactile and penetrating, displaying more punch and inner-mouth floral lift than the Sur Echalas vineyard Syrah.
But this juicy wine is still youthfully imploded. Finishes firmly tannic, with black pepper, spice notes, and a persistent saline character. Very promising. (13.6% alcohol)
Drink 2021 - 2029
Stephen Tanzer, Vinous.com (June 2018)
About this WINE
Located in Walla Walla Valley, Washington, USA, Horsepower Vineyards was founded by Christophe Baron, a French vigneron and winemaker regarded for his dedication to traditional winemaking techniques and biodynamic farming practices. Baron is also the proprietor of Cayuse Vineyards, another esteemed regional winery.
The vineyards, predominantly Syrah, are situated on the southern side of the Walla Walla Valley. The unique terroir of the area, characterised by well-drained, stony soils and a distinct microclimate, contributes to the production of exceptional wines.
One key feature that sets Horsepower Vineyards apart is its commitment to using traditional, labour-intensive methods in winemaking. The vineyard is known for using draft horses to plow the fields, hence the name "Horsepower." This dedication to old-fashioned techniques and the utmost attention to detail in both the vineyard and the cellar contribute to the distinctive character of their wines.
Walla Walla Valley
In the southeastern part of Washington State, USA, Walla Walla Valley is a prominent and acclaimed wine-producing region extending into northeastern Oregon. The valley’s viticultural roots date back to the mid-19th century, making it one of the oldest wine regions in the Pacific Northwest.
A semi-arid climate with hot summers and cold winters characterizes the region. It also benefits from the Cascade Mountain Range to the west, which shields the valley from excessive rainfall, creating an ideal environment for grape cultivation. The dry and sunny conditions contribute to the development of ripe and flavorful grapes, while cool nights help to preserve acidity, resulting in balanced and vibrant wines.
The valley’s diverse soils, primarily composed of loess (wind-blown silt) and well-draining basalt, create a patchwork of terroirs that add complexity and character to the wines. Additionally, ancient flood deposits contribute to the valley’s fertile landscape, further supporting grapevine growth.
Walla Walla Valley is renowned for its red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, which thrive in the region’s climate and soils. These red varieties are known for their rich fruit flavors, supple tannins, and aging potential. Excellent white wines, such as Chardonnay and Riesling, are also produced, which benefit from the valley’s diurnal temperature variation and well-drained soils.
The wine is characterized by a strong sense of community and collaboration among winemakers, fostering a culture of quality and innovation. Many wineries in the region are small, family-owned operations dedicated to handcrafted and sustainable winemaking practices.
A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.
It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.
South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.