“Personally, I look forward to drinking this wine when I’m 105.”
—Jay Miller,
The Wine Advocate

Widowmaker

Produced: 2002 - present

Professional reviews and tasting notes from prior vintages (scores within parentheses indicate barrel samples):

2011

The 2011 Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard is all Cabernet Sauvignon and spent 18 months in 40-50% new French oak (same oak regime as all of the other Bordeaux blends). Classic Cabernet on the nose, with pure black currant and black cherry fruit, lead pencil shavings, earth, braised meats and hints of herbs, it flows onto the palate with a full-bodied, rich texture, thrilling mid-palate depth and a seamless, blockbuster finish. Loaded with potential, it’s up there with the best of the vintage. It should benefit from 3-5 years in the cellar and drink nicely through 2031. Drink 2017-2031. (95-98) Points. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2010

A silky, supple and downright sexy 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2010 Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard offers up notes of sweet red and black currants, leaf tobacco, mulled spices and cedar to go with a full-bodied, rich and gorgeously textured and polished palate. Already approachable and surprisingly civilized, with a core of sweet fruit and ripe, polished tannin, it nevertheless holds up beautifully with air and drank well for the three days I had the bottle open. Enjoy it over the coming 12-15+ years. Drink now-2025+. 97 Points. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2009

Using grapes sourced entirely from the En Chamberlin Vineyard, this pure Cabernet is deep, dark, focused and tight, with firm but velvety tannins and a perfect mix of cassis, coffee and earth. Even more than previous years, this vintage displays astonishing depth and power. Flavors of Serrano ham and other cured meats, plus a delicate saltiness and minerality keep the flavors developing onto the long, fascinating finish 97 Points. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

Good deep red. Aromas of licorice pastille and smoke. Dense, sweet, juicy and bright, with harmonious acidity shaping and lifting the raspberry, cassis and spice flavors. A captivating hint of rocky minerality contributes to the impression of finesse. In a very suave style, finishing with sweet tannins and superb persistence. Baron told me that he is slowly bringing down his new oak percentages, and this wine is clearly the better for the new approach. 93 Points. –Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

The Cayuse 2009 Widowmaker – as usual, from the year 2000 plantings in the deeply gravelly En Chamberlin – was raised in just under half new barrels, whereas in 2005 and 2006 it was 80%. Juniper berry, cedar, and cassis catch the nose’s attention; then inform a rich, polished, subtly-oily palate. A suggestion of crushed stone – though not, to be sure, the refined texture and tannins on display here – certainly fits Baron’s quip that “this is like riding over a gravel road.” Tactile sizzle of baking spices; smoky Latakia tobacco; and piquant huckleberry all add to the intensity, grip, and complexity of a powerfully persistent finish. This looks likely to reward considerable cellaring and perform well for more than a decade. 93 Points. –David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate

2008

The 2008 Widowmaker En Chamberlin Cabernet Sauvignon was aged in 50-60% new oak, something Baron uses judiciously. It is a very Left Bank Bordeaux styled wine combining power and elegance. It is likely to have a 20 year lifespan. 97 Points. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

Superb sculpture and definition in this compact and lightly funky evocation of pure Cabernet Sauvignon. The deep, dense, super ripe berry flavors are framed within a bouquet of dried herbs, pepper, mineral, astringent tannins, and a crisp mix of earth, wood and plant flavors. Superb length and ageability. 96 Points. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

2007

The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard is 100% varietal from a single parcel aged in 75% new French oak. The nose displays sandalwood, mineral, earth notes, Asian spices, incense, black currant, blackberry, and a hint of chocolate. Rich, dense, and layered, it displays remarkable elegance for its size. It will continue to evolve for 6-8 years and provide pleasure through 2027. 98 Points. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

Big and bracing, offering a plush mouthful of black olive-immersed blackberry, cherry, plum and spice flavors, finishing with savory herb character. Drink now through 2017. 91 Points. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2006

The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard is 100% varietal from a single parcel aged in 75% new French oak. The nose surrenders a sensual perfume of smoke, crushed rocks, game, dried fruits, and a hint of chocolate. Rich, dense, and layered, it is the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. It will continue to evolve for 6-8 years and provide pleasure through 2026. 98 Points. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

2005

The 2005 The Widowmaker is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the En Chamberlin Vineyard. Opaque purple, the nose reveals toasty oak, minerals, scorched earth, an amalgam of black fruits, plum, and licorice. Smooth-textured, opulent, and full-flavored, the oak is totally integrated and every element is in harmony. Give it 8-10 years in the cellar and drink it through 2030. 98 Points. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

Smooth and generous, this offers a powerful blast of ripe cherry, rhubarb pie and strawberry jam, finishing with a meaty note. Has lots of personality, with a finish that won't quit. Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2013. 91 Points. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2004

The 2004 The Widowmaker "En Chamberlin Vineyard" is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French oak, 75% new. The most massive of Cayuse’s Bordeaux-styled wines, this purple-colored behemoth offers an imposing nose of pain grille, scorched earth, espresso roast, licorice, and black currants. Brooding on the palate, this amazingly rich and concentrated wine is an infant in terms of its development. There is enough structure to support 10-20 years in the cellar but there is so much extract and baby fat that the wine can be enjoyed now with a dry-aged prime ribeye. For those with patience, The Widowmaker (could this be a reference to the potential longevity of the wine?) should drink well through 2050. Personally, I look forward to drinking this wine when I’m 105. 97 Points. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

This smells of herbs, but offers a mouthful of gorgeous plum and currant fruit on a supple frame. Finishes with harmony and a distinct stylishness. The savory notes add plenty of interest, and the oak integrates smoothly. Best from 2008 through 2014. 93 Points. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2003

Produced entirely from Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2003 The Widowmaker offers a nose of herb-laced dark fruits. Medium to full-bodied, dense, and boisterous, this outstanding effort is crammed with blackberries and spices. Projected maturity: 2008-2018. 90 Points. –Pierre Rovani, The Wine Advocate

Supple, plush and immensely appealing for its range of blueberry, plum and currant fruit, shaded with a relatively low level of spicy oak, lingering seductively on the round, polished finish. This one has refinement and grandeur. Drink now through 2015. 93 Points. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

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