Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Post Reply
Message
Author
C Wagner
Posts: 73
Joined: November 9th, 2016, 8:57 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#1 Post by C Wagner » February 8th, 2019, 8:52 pm

A few years ago I signed up for the waiting list for Horsepower Vineyards (from Christophe Baron of Cayuse fame). Tonight I received notification that my wait was over.

The release is for a 3 pack of High Contrast Vineyard Syrah and a 3 pack of the Tribe Vineyard Syrah. Price is $121/bottle.

I’ve heard great things but not had any of their stuff. Anyone biting on these?

luc@sl@belle
Posts: 170
Joined: January 13th, 2016, 5:55 pm

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#2 Post by luc@sl@belle » February 9th, 2019, 5:12 am

I signed up when they were first announced and received the initial offer. I purchased. Then purchased the following offer as well the next year... about a case in total.

I then tried some of the wines and was severely disappointed. They were no where near the type of wines I enjoyed or enjoy drinking. The main thing I remember was manure, both in the nose and the taste. This was on several bottles from different vintages.

I subsequently sold all my bottles and made a little profit.

User avatar
Kirk.Grant
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2928
Joined: May 27th, 2012, 1:29 pm
Location: Bangor, Maine

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#3 Post by Kirk.Grant » February 9th, 2019, 5:39 am

If you like the Cayuse wines, then I think you'll like these too. They're definitely a special wine, but the question I have is what wines do you tend to like? That could help you figure out if you want these wines.
Cellartracker:Kirk Grant

User avatar
Leonard Taylor
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 523
Joined: January 29th, 2009, 7:19 am
Location: Southeast US

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#4 Post by Leonard Taylor » February 9th, 2019, 6:00 am

I agree with Kirk. These are very much in the style of Cayuse with the funk that comes from the Rocks District. They are mineral driven and not the fruity style of some Cali syrahs. I have found that in my circle people love them or they don't. I think they are more like Northern Rhone. I love them.
Leonard Taylor

Scott E.
Posts: 523
Joined: March 28th, 2013, 11:10 am

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#5 Post by Scott E. » February 9th, 2019, 9:36 am

I found zero fruit. Maybe it was lurking under there somewhere but it wasn't showing the day I opened a 2011 several years back. I love some funk and meat and olive but I need a little fruit to go with it. I bought 2011 and 2012 and will be drinking my remaining 2011's sometime later this year. Based on my initial try, I did not purchase again. We all have different tastes though... Cheers!
$.E$te$

User avatar
Mark Morrissette
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 42
Joined: January 27th, 2017, 7:26 am
Location: Falmouth, Maine

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#6 Post by Mark Morrissette » February 9th, 2019, 10:35 am

I am in the same position as the OP. Just made the Horsepower list, and trying to decide whether to purchase.

My closest experience is with Delmas (Rocks District), which I like a lot. Delmas is pricey (+/- $70), but Horsepower is $50 more per bottle....

Similar style? Difference in quality?

Ron Slye
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 431
Joined: May 4th, 2014, 2:11 pm

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#7 Post by Ron Slye » February 9th, 2019, 11:24 am

I have a good many Horsepower, but have only tried them twice (I am letting the others age). My experience (but limited as I note) is that they are comparable to Bionic Frog. I agree with a lot of the descriptions above. Delmas is, I think, a bit more delicate and subtle than HP. I have some Delmas which I love.

I should disclose here that I dropped the HP list this year -- somewhat reluctantly. Part of it was to save money, and part was that I have so much Cayuse and will continue to get BF, that I would rather use limited resources for Bordeaux and Barolo and other regions. So my dropping is by no means an expression of my lack of enjoying the wines. But I am more and more convinced that these wines need a lot of time in the bottle. I recently had some early 2000 Cayuse Syrahs and they are drinking beautifully, but still lots of time left. I realize that I would rarely open a young Bdx or Barolo or Northern Rhone without thinking it needs more time. (Caveat -- I prefer my wines with some age, so that should be taken into account).

Edit: Oh to respond more to Mark above. I really really like Delmas. I am curious to see how well they age. I think HP will be great in 10-15 years, maybe longer. I do think they are different style. I think Steve/Delmas is trying to create more nuanced wines than the HP line -- the latter I think is looking for dense power, but not dense jammy fruit (which I tend not to like).

Is it worth 50 more? That is a more personal issue. I guess if you have the money and are curious, I would buy a bit and try them. If it means you will buy less Delmas or something else you like, then maybe don't buy. Let us know what you do, and if you do bite, let us know what you think!

User avatar
Mark Morrissette
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 42
Joined: January 27th, 2017, 7:26 am
Location: Falmouth, Maine

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#8 Post by Mark Morrissette » February 10th, 2019, 7:59 am

Ron Slye wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 11:24 am
I have a good many Horsepower, but have only tried them twice (I am letting the others age). My experience (but limited as I note) is that they are comparable to Bionic Frog. I agree with a lot of the descriptions above. Delmas is, I think, a bit more delicate and subtle than HP. I have some Delmas which I love.

I should disclose here that I dropped the HP list this year -- somewhat reluctantly. Part of it was to save money, and part was that I have so much Cayuse and will continue to get BF, that I would rather use limited resources for Bordeaux and Barolo and other regions. So my dropping is by no means an expression of my lack of enjoying the wines. But I am more and more convinced that these wines need a lot of time in the bottle. I recently had some early 2000 Cayuse Syrahs and they are drinking beautifully, but still lots of time left. I realize that I would rarely open a young Bdx or Barolo or Northern Rhone without thinking it needs more time. (Caveat -- I prefer my wines with some age, so that should be taken into account).

Edit: Oh to respond more to Mark above. I really really like Delmas. I am curious to see how well they age. I think HP will be great in 10-15 years, maybe longer. I do think they are different style. I think Steve/Delmas is trying to create more nuanced wines than the HP line -- the latter I think is looking for dense power, but not dense jammy fruit (which I tend not to like).

Is it worth 50 more? That is a more personal issue. I guess if you have the money and are curious, I would buy a bit and try them. If it means you will buy less Delmas or something else you like, then maybe don't buy. Let us know what you do, and if you do bite, let us know what you think!
Thanks very much Ron, this is very helpful.

Curiosity may get the best of me, and I may end up buying Horsepower for a few years. (Only question is whether I have any willpower or not....) But, given all I have seen, it will probably be 10+ years before it is ready to drink! I may have to crack one open sooner to at least get a sense of it.

Thanks again.

JDavisRoby
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 123
Joined: June 19th, 2018, 12:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#9 Post by JDavisRoby » February 11th, 2019, 6:39 am

How does the Horsepower compare to Reynvaan?

mark rudner
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1204
Joined: April 23rd, 2009, 1:43 pm

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#10 Post by mark rudner » February 11th, 2019, 6:55 am

i love the hp wines. enough to have just bought a mixed case on cc here. the minerality and fruit just floor me. it doesn't hurt that it's my gf's favorite wine as well

Scott E.
Posts: 523
Joined: March 28th, 2013, 11:10 am

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#11 Post by Scott E. » February 11th, 2019, 8:38 am

JDavisRoby wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 6:39 am
How does the Horsepower compare to Reynvaan?
In my opinion, they both have similar profiles (Rocks signature, meat, olive, etc.) but the Reynvaan wines show significantly more fruit. I really like Reynvaan and continue to buy (although they are getting pretty pricey). Cheers!
$.E$te$

User avatar
Markus S
Posts: 5297
Joined: May 20th, 2010, 7:27 am

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#12 Post by Markus S » February 11th, 2019, 11:18 am

Leonard Taylor wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 6:00 am
... with the funk that comes from the Rocks...
You sure it's the rocks where the crap comes from? [wink.gif] [tease.gif]
$ _ € ® e . k @

User avatar
Jared Wagner
Posts: 532
Joined: May 27th, 2009, 11:24 am
Location: Maple Valley, WA

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#13 Post by Jared Wagner » February 11th, 2019, 11:27 am

Like Ron, I have drank many a Cayuse and No Girls but have also drank several of the Horsepower wines. I agree with his comparison to the Frog, as these wines are way more in the savory, mineral, and little fruit category. Here are some of my notes, which may help you get a gauge on the wines.

2011 Horsepower Tribe Syrah -- From bottle at the Release Weekend. Christophe was nice enough to offer us a glass of the Horsepower wines. This syrah was otherworldly already. Deep, animalistic, savory, grippy. It essentially grabbed you by the balls and squeezed. Wildness ala the very best Cornas. Stunning bottle. 97+ pts.

2011 Horsepower Sur Echalas Grenache -- Christophe asked us if we wanted a glass of the Horsepower Grenache...F%ck yes! Cannot disagree with Darren. Red fruits galore, charcuterie, freshly ground pepper, lively bursts of freshness. Extremely expressive for such a young wine. These Horsepower wines are going to give such a unique experience...one that is hard to find elsewhere. 96+

2011 Horsepower Sur Echalas Grenache -- Decanted for two hours. Completely blown away by this wine. As good as domestic grenache can get. I have to be honest and say that I was much more excited about the Horsepower syrahs (those have been damn good, too!), but this wine has me rethinking that. Gorgeous nose of red fruits immediately makes the hair on your arms stand-up (for Dale...hairs on his back). Medium-bodied with that unmistakable Christophe structure (je ne sais quoi?) that harmoniously brings every component together. Can't wait to give the 12 a spin. 97pts.

2011 Horsepower Tribe Syrah -- Popped and let sit in the glass for an hour or so while we ate apps and salads. Blockbuster right out of the gate with aromas of violets, basil, fennel, and dark cherry followed by hints of black pepper and olive in reserve. Medium-weight in the mouth revealing crushed blackberries, black olive, dark plum. Taut on the finish with an ever so light hint at some smooth tannins. Surprised it was so well integrated for its age but has the chutzpah to merit years of sleep. World class. 97pts.

2012 Horsepower Sur Echalas Grenache -- Decanted for 2 hours. This unique domestic grenache has some stuffing. Not nearly as funky as the GOK can be, this wine was laser focused and lithe teaming with red currant and bright cherry fruit. A chalky minerality brought everything into focus while balancing out the fruit. Possessing a heightened complexity that distinguishes this wine from your ordinary, or even good domestic grenache. Will continue to improve in the coming years which is scary. 96pts.

2012 Horsepower Tribe Syrah -- Decanted for two hours. This is a caveman's wine. This is a Paleo and Atkins diet wine. This is a wine crafted for a T-Rex. This wine is a 48oz. Peter Luger porterhouse steak. This is a Medieval Times eat your meat off a leg bone wine. A blood suckers wine. This is not a namby-pamby vegan or vegetarian's wine. This is not a suburban soccer mom pumpkin spice wine. This is not a 1999 98-point Parker Australian Shiraz ooze monster. This is a Pizza Hut meat lover's wine that should have a warning sticker on the label that reads, "Meat Only...No Fruits Allowed!" I'd love to hand a glass of this wine to a vegan/vegetarian and ask them to describe what they are smelling. I think they'd lack descriptors because this wine smells only like various types and preparations of meat. Grilled, smoked, sauteed, fried, even a la plancha. A carnivores delight, this wine is. This wine is not for the masses and I wouldn't presume to serve it to friends at a Saturday night dinner while playing Cards Against Humanity. This is an old school Cornas syrah lover's wine. Drink at your own risk. 98pts.

2013 Horsepower Tribe Syrah -- Decanted for 3 hours. Almost identical to the 2012. No need to get into specifics as my note on the 12 speaks largely for this wine, as well. These aren't hedonistic wines that you'd drink for pure pleasure at this point and doubt they ever will be. It's work to drink this wine as it's mostly an intellectual experience. Kind of like that Philosophy 300 class you took in college. I enjoy this type of wine experience but guess many would not. 97pts.

User avatar
Mark Morrissette
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 42
Joined: January 27th, 2017, 7:26 am
Location: Falmouth, Maine

Re: Thoughts on Horsepower Vineyards

#14 Post by Mark Morrissette » February 11th, 2019, 11:41 am

Awesome notes, thank you Jared!

My decisions so far: I bought a 2012 Tribe on Winebid last night. Looking forward to trying that! But, I won't get to try it before I have to put in my order for the release.

I think I will do one three pack from the release I have been offered to stay active on the list, and then can decided whether to double down, drop off, or something else, in future years.

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”