The Birth of the Bionic Frog

| July 27, 2011

Last night we opened the first vintage (2000) of the now very famous ‘Bionic Frog’.  This bottle had been sitting in my wine storage as I was convinced to save this for a special evening to see where the legend of the Frog all started. I had been slightly concerned as to the ageability of this wine before bringing this to my birthday dinner as I hadn’t had a Cayuse wine with this many years under its belt to date. Talk about wasting my time worrying. This wine was spectacular. I have been to a release at their winery, I have drunk numerous of their wines in the last few years, and I look forward the Cayuse ‘Funk’.  No ‘Funk’ here, just a really well structured and elegant example of what Washington Syrah can be.

I have had the vegetal Cayuse wines before that seem at times like fruit is hiding under the stairs playing hide and seek; the Cailloux, the En Chamberlain; wines that are almost hedonistic in their bullying approach of imposing themselves on the recipient in a most alluring way. This was not one of them. While the fruit was not the first thing in the glass, it was deliciously there, dark and brooding while balanced against the über-complex aromas and umami flavors that surrounded it. This wine was graceful in its approach while maintaining its seductive uniqueness that Cayuse is famous for.


My wife and I shared this bottle together at John Howie steakhouse at the Bravern in Bellevue (across the lake from Seattle). We have been to all the great steakhouses in the Seattle area and this one is tops here. There really is no debate or discussion in my opinion. From our amuse bouche to the ahi tartare with Anjou pear, habanero, mint, pine nuts and quail egg (tableside preparation) to the Australian A5 100% Wagyu beef; John Howie delivered on every level.  The food, wine, service, atmosphere and experience were all top notch. Having just returned from Tom Colicchio’s Craft steakhouse a few weeks ago I am happy to report that you don’t need to fly anywhere for an equaled or better steakhouse experience, John Howie exceeds expectations right here in the Seattle area.

2000 Cayuse Bionic Frog

Popped and poured, drank over 2 hours at dinner. Dark plum colored in the glass looking like a black hole sitting on the table with no light entering or escaping.  The nose was alive and kicking with soy, wet basement, brown sugar, and peppered dark fruits. The palate was equally complex with spice, black fruit, meat, and pencil lead that seemed to change every time I returned to the glass. This wine was exceptionally bright with acidity and perfectly balanced with velvety tannins that have resolved themselves in the last 11 years to be in its prime right now. Lucky us. Medium bodied with a finish that seemed to go on forever. A very deep, complex, and graceful wine that I wish I had more of.  What a great first vintage of one of the most heralded wines out there. Thank you Mr. Frog, I hope to enjoy you again soon.

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Category: Epicurean Exploits, Northwest Epicurean Experiences, Uncategorized, Washington State Wine

About the Author ()

Seth has lived in the Seattle area nearly his entire life. He is a father and husband whose food and wine passion drives him to eat and drink almost nightly…in a responsible fashion. By day he works with regional companies on their promotional merchandise in the way of creative giveaways, marketing ideas, and employee recognition for an industry leading promotional company, PromoShop. In his spare time, Seth loves to cook, garden, ski, run, shop at the grocery store, blog, and enjoy his family. You might find him at Whole Foods, Bill the Butcher, or any taco truck. Check out his other blog here: http://uncorkwashington.blogspot.com/

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