Gramercy Cellars Wine Tasting with Greg Harrington at WWWB

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 07:30 PM

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Gramercy Cellars is an 8,000-case winery founded in 2005 by Master Sommelier Greg Harrington and his wife, Pam, to make Rhône and Bordeaux based wines in Washington State. We believe that great wines share common traits: great vineyards, small production, minimalist winemaking, time, and patience. Gramercy’s philosophy is simple: to develop or partner with the best vineyards, harvest ripe, not overripe, grapes, intervene minimally in the winemaking process, and use as little new oak as possible. The resultant wines display balance, intense fruit  notes, strong earthiness, restraint, and elegance. Our wines often require time to develop, but reward that with patience. We seek to produce wines that complement food, provide great pleasure, and stand out as uniquely made in Washington.

Prior to founding Gramercy, Greg spent his career overseeing some of the most prestigious wine programs in the country, working for top restaurants and chefs such as Joyce Goldstein, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, and Stephen Hanson. Since passing the Master Sommelier Diploma Exam at the age of 26, Greg has been passionate about making wine. His Washington odyssey began in the spring of 2004, at a backyard picnic in Brooklyn, which was hosted by the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. There, Greg and Pam tasted wines that surprised them and were different from what they had come to expect from American wines—these were wines that displayed earthy characteristics and balance. A marathon tasting trip in Walla Walla in southeastern Washington later that spring convinced them that Walla Walla was in their future. At first, this meant “when they retire,” but that quickly became “five years from now.” Meanwhile, Greg worked harvest in 2004 in Walla Walla and became more convinced than ever that Walla Walla was the place in the U.S. to make the wines he loved. Soon thereafter, they decided to seize the opportunity to finally follow their dreams full time. Gramercy had its first harvest in 2005.

Gramercy Cellars is dedicated to two amazing individuals whom we miss very much:

John Lewis Plummer, Pam’s father and himself an entrepreneur, who spent his life preparing for a time when he could help his children follow their dreams. It is thanks to his love and generosity that we were able to create Gramercy Cellars.

Master Sommelier Michael Bonaccorsi, whose untimely passing in 2004 motivated us to found Gramercy Cellars, following his example to start and operate a boutique winery focused on quality, integrity, and sustainability.

 


Gramercy Cellars Wine Tasting with Greg Harrington at WWWB
Wednesday, October 11th
7:30pm


2015 Gramercy Cellars Olsen Rose
Price: $30.00

The 2016 Rosé is groundbreaking for us. First, this is a single vineyard rosé -Olsen Vineyard. We love Olsen Vineyard for Rhone varieties and want to showcase the vineyard with this rosé.  Secondly, for years, we have wanted to co-ferment all the varieties together.  Usually, the Syrah ripens before the Cinsault and Grenache, so we have two different ferments. We would ferment Syrah alone and then co-ferment Cinsault and Grenache. In 2016, in very early September, we realized that all three grapes were on the verge of being ready.  This was mostly the result of farming Syrah a bit differently given the warmer vintages of recent years.  The Cinsault and Grenache were a bit less ripe than we had picked in recent years, but we liked the flavors. We called Leif Olsen to harvest all our blocks.

We macerated the rosé on skins for about 6 hours total.  We gently pressed the wine when it hit a beautiful Pacific Northwest Sockeye Salmon color.  The wine was fermented cold for about 18 days in stainless steel.  We favor stainless steel for this fermentation to preserve freshness and acidity.

The 2016 Rosé is a blend of 52% Cinsault, 24% Grenache and 24% Syrah.  The wine is racier and citrus dominate than years past, but retains intense minerality.  Truly refreshing for the warm summer days ahead.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of fresh strawberry, ruby red grapefruit, cantaloupe, mandarin orange.  Stone, mineral, Parmesan rind. Medium bodied with moderate-plus acid.


2014 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Lower East
Price: $38.25

(91 Points)  Coming from the Columbia Valley, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Lower East from Gramercy is a polished, classy Cabernet Sauvignon that has lots of spice box, black currants and dried herbs in a supple, rounded, delicious and textured style. It's ideal for drinking over the coming 5-7 years. The Wine Advocate


2013 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Columbia Valley
Price: $60.00

(94 Points) I compared the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (86% Cabernet, 10% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot) to a top Margaux last year when I tasted if from barrel, and I stand by that comparison today. Sandalwood, kirsch, black currants and floral notes all emerge from this beautiful, silky, impeccably polished and balanced Cabernet that has no hard edges, medium to full-bodied richness and a seamless profile that makes it impossible to resist. It's going to keep for 15+ years.   The Wine Advocate


2013 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Columbia Valley
Price: $45.00

The 2013 is the second vintage of the Columbia Valley AVA designated wine.  As we search Washington for better and more unique Syrah, we see two things happening:  First, our upper end wines are becoming more vineyard focused with John Lewis and The Deuce based on Les Collines and Lagniappe based on Red Willow Vineyard.  Second, we love the combination of fruit from the lower Yakima Valley and Walla Walla.  We can make earthy wines with both structure and freshness.  Third, we want to make a Syrah that has better availability and some potential for growth.  Enter the Columbia Valley Syrah.

This wine blends 4 vineyards – the northerly Oldfield and Olsen with two Walla Walla sources – Old Stones in the Rocks and the iconic Les Collines. Oldfield, adjacent to Boushey, and Olsen provide red fruit and freshness, the Rocks gives pepper, funk, smoke, depth, and structure. Les Collines provides a world class base for the wine. This wine, aged 18 months in neutral barrel, is about 50% whole cluster.

“Readers looking for a killer Syrah to purchase to see what Washington is all about couldn’t do any better than a bottle of the 2013 Columbia Valley Syrah from Gramercy. Possessing lots of gamy, olive, peppery, lavender and salted meats, with a core of ripe plum and darker fruits, this beauty is full-bodied, supple, polished and utterly seamless, with no hard edges and a clean, focused finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. Buy this beauty by the case and drink it over the coming decade.” Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (94 pts)

Tasting notes: Red Cherry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Leather, Saline, Meat, Smoke, Funk, Violets, Roses.  Palate is medium bodied with crisp acidity and energy.


2013 Gramercy Cellars Lagniappe Syrah  
Price: $63.75

(95 Points) Named after a French/Cajun term meaning roughly "a little something extra", the 2013 Syrah Lagniappe is a stunning barrel sample that has classic Syrah notes of sappy herbs, spring flowers, pepper and ample darker fruits. Tight, focused, medium to full-bodied and elegant, it's another 2013 that will benefit from short-term cellaring. I think it's slightly behind the 2012, but still a gorgeous wine.  The Wine Advocate


2013 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Lower East
Price: $33.75

(93 Points)  The aromas bring immediate appeal, with notes of brown stems, herbs, crushed flowers, smoked meat and black pepper. The flavors don't disappoint, showing purity, focus and generosity with a spot-on sense of balance and a lengthy finish that kicks it up a notch. Give it time to open up.  Wine Enthusiast


2014 Gramercy Cellars Third Man Grenache
Price: $44.25

(94 Points)  The 2014 The Third Man is a ripe, sexy blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Carignan and 5% Mourvèdre that’s from the Alder Ridge, Olsen and Forgotten Hills vineyards. Herbes des Provence, kirsch liqueur, black cherries, leather and pepper all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, nicely balanced, seamless Grenache that will dish out tons of pleasure right out of the gate. It will have a decade or more of longevity. The Wine Advocate

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