Horsepower on Deck

Just received the letter about the upcoming 2013 release. I’ve bought both of the first two vintages but have yet to try any of the wines. Three wines again this year. Pricing not listed

2013 Sur Echalas Vineyard Grenache
2013 Sur Echalas Vineyard Syrah
2013 The Tribe Syrah

At $115 per bottle (assuming pricing is unchanged from last year), I’m on the fence about this one. I’m very long on CA Syrah in my cellar. Who is planning on buying and who is going to pass?

Any recent experiences with either the 2011 or 2012s?

We opened '12 Tribe on Tuesday after an 8 hour slow ox (wanted to taste before deciding on the new vintage).
I’m in.

I’ll report back on Sunday night. 3 of us WBers are doing a mini Horsepower offline this weekend.

Scott, we were trying to decide if we should do a full decant or longer Slow Ox. Did you feel that the 8 hour Slow Ox did the trick? Did it still evolve during the consumption?

Even after the slow ox we observed lots of evolution.
At the end, it was crazy–floral/perfume with all that Cayuse stink.

It performed very well in a big lineup.

For a young, big syrah such as HP, I would splash decant, not slow ox. I have had better success with the later with older wines, not youngsters.

FWIW Christophe likes the long uncorked interval for his HP wines. We just uncorked the 12 Grenache for tomorrow’s dinner.

Thanks for the tip Glenn…I will try that for the Grenache that we are opening tomorrow.

How was it?

Interested to hear the feedback for those of you that drank some HP this weekend.

David, in the name of science, and wanting to know if I wanted to buy another 3 pack of the grenache this go round, I fired in on the 2012 HP grenache this weekend… Read this note knowing that I am a complete newb to Christophe’s wines, other than the 2011 Tribe syrah that I enjoyed several months ago. After two days in the fridge this one remained largely unchanged, the texture did soften a bit and just a touch more of the cherry flavor appeared.

  • 2012 Horsepower Vineyards Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley (12/31/2015)
    This is an insanely complex wine, that I probably drank too young, but wanted to know if it was worth the tariff before committing to another three bottles from the upcoming release. Intense nose of smoke, peat, ash, barnyard and to my surprise a tinge of grapefruit. Super silky, medium frame with flavors of musky cherry, creosote, iron, and loads of other earthy, savory elements on the finish. Tannins were not obtrusive, and for my tastes it could’ve used a touch more acid to give a greater sense of “freshness”. This is one of the most interesting wines I’ve had in a long time, just not sure it is my cup of tea. (94 pts.)

Our mini HP offline included the following: 2011 Tribe Syrah, 2012 Tribe Syrah, 2012 Sur Echalas Grenache.

The 2011 and 2012 Syrah were almost undrinkable when first opened. For example, the 2011 tasted initially of charred blood, minerals and crushed rock, but not in a pleasing way. After about 8 hours decanted, the wine started opening up and by dinner time, it was pairing quite nicely with the BBQ we ordered.

The concensus amongst the 3 of us, was that these wines would really need 5-8 years in the cellar before they were truly approachable. The ultimate question would be: Is the investment today worth it, in the hopes that these wines will be great several years from now? For 2 of us, it was worth the committment, and for the 3rd, it wasn’t, based on the quality of wines that you can buy for the same price with more certainty.

I will say that they develped into truly unique wines. For me a style which greatly differed from Cayuse and one that was different from any that I have tried before.

Curious about other peoples thoughts that have opened these young?

Super helpful notes, dude. Thanks.

I opened the 2011 Tribe back in October…gave it a 24 hour SO in bottle after pouring out about 2-3 oz. for an initial taste. All I can say is that I was impressed. I think there does reach a point where the price may impact my decision. I’m not sure where that is initially…but if it’s gone up too much I’d be out. There does reach a point where the value/enjoyment factor is challenged by the price. For instance…at $125 I’m thinking that’s about the same as two bottles of Beaucastel pre-release. So I’d have a hard time with that. I may be in if the price is still $115/bottle. However, that’s also the price of Clape Cornas…and I’m not sure that I’d rather have the Horsepower. Time in the cellar will tell.

I would buy if I get an offer…but I haven’t :frowning:

Eric, can you explain how the HP wines differ from Cayuse in your view? I’ve never had a Cayuse, and just assumed that they would both be quite similar. Thanks!

I didn’t get the funk even after it began showing its flavor profile that I typically get with Cayuse. I did get some of the same meaty, minarally characteristics but Cayuse to me includes the barnyard stink that I didn’t find at all in HP.

Sorry to sidetrack, but when does the Cayuse offer typically hit?

September, with delivery a year+ later, usually November. There is also an option to pick up at their annual party.

Cayuse sent me a no wine for you email today.
Hopefully I will get on the list before 2023.