The 2016 John Lewis Syrah is perhaps my favorite we have ever made at Gramercy Cellars. Why? This is a wine of freshness and balance. It is a wine to ponder and consider. It is not a wine that hits you over the head with power. It requires thought and contemplation. This wine earned the award of Top 100 Wines in the World in 2020 from Wine & Spirits Magazine.
Walla Walla lies in the Lower East corner of Washington State. We created Lower East as a thank you to our customers and industry friends. Our goal was to make a fantastic Mourvèdre at a fantastic price.
This wine is a blind barrel select from our Estate vineyards and showcases the best of what they have to offer each vintage.
Walla Walla, located in the Lower East corner of Washington, is a home for world class Cabernet. We created Lower East as a thank you to our customers and industry friends. Our goal was to make a fantastic Cabernet at a fantastic price.
The 2016 Walla Walla Syrah is a blend of Holy Roller Vineyard in the Rocks District with our estate vineyard Forgotten Hills, at the base of the Blue Mountains. These vineyards are perfect compliments. Forgotten Hills brings elegance, freshness, acidity and structure while Holy Roller brings power and classic Syrah aromatics.
The 2018 Third Man is 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre. In previous vintages, this wine was frequently a blend of Alder Ridge and Olsen Vineyards, however, we decided that Olsen Vineyard alone makes a more complete and interesting wine. In 2018, we fermented the wine 85% whole cluster with native yeasts, mostly in concrete. We aged the wine in predominately neutral Stockinger foudre, a.k.a. really big barrels, with a small amount in 500-liter puncheons and smaller barrels.
The 2019 Viognier reminded me of my first trip to the Rhône Valley. I've explained this story before, but I somehow managed to secure an appointment at Rostaing, my absolute model for Syrah anywhere. As Rene Rostaing led us through the tasting of his incredible Syrahs, not that I heard anything he actually said as I was completely starstruck, he completed the tasting with the estate's most recent Condrieu - La Bonette. This is a true unicorn wine - impossible to source. I've only had it a few times. But for me, it's the epitome of Viognier, falling somewhere between the aromatics of a great dry Riesling (no petrol) and the complexities of a restrained white Burgundy. Now, we aren't making anything close to that; our vineyard will need another 50 years or so of maturity. But as I sniffed the wine, memories of that tasting popped into my head. The 2019 Viognier is a step up - fresh with fruit, but a bit more deliberate - it shows its place with mineral and stone. There are exotic spice and floral components that I only find in serious Viognier. It is still perfect for the beach or boat, but it may be more suited to the Cote d'Azur or a 100 ft yacht to be fully appreciated. Tasting Notes: Meyer lemon, honeydew, cantaloupe, peach, cream, some green herb - tarragon, wet rock, saline, mineral. Medium acid, showing some baby fat richness. A slight bitterness, consistent with great examples of the variety. More tree fruit on the palate - bosc pear, yellow apple. Richer, riper than 2018. Leans more towards white burg than Viognier right now. Full finish.
Coming from Red Willow vineyard, the Lagniappe Syrah finds us blending the older and younger blocks at the site. This brings a balance of deep red fruit and earth with mid-palate intensity and aromatic complexity. A richer wine with rocking tannins and a long finish.
Walla Walla lies in the Lower East corner of Washington State. We created Lower East as a thank you to our customers and industry friends. Our goal was to make a fantastic Syrah at a fantastic price. This wine earned the award of Top 100 Best Buy Wines in the World in 2020 from Wine & Spirits Magazine.
Mourvèdre is a fantastic grape. What blows us away is its ability to retain red fruit characteristics.
A more restrained Les Collines Syrah. Red and purple fruits. Flowers with a box of 85% chocolate. Stone, tar, burnt orange, savory spices. Roasted meat. Acid medium+ with moderate tannin and alcohol. Surprisingly fresh and fruit-forward on the palate, as the nose suggests a more weighty wine. Remarkable, complex mid-palate. Very long length. If possible, give this a day of air or a big decant in the early years.
Our 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon "Reserve" is a blockbuster. Like the John Lewis, it is a selection from the best barrels in our cellar. As with most vintages, it comprises a blend of two incredible old vine Cabernet vineyards - Sagemoor and Phinny Hill. This is a Cabernet that will last for decades in the cellar.
Forgotten Hills is all about acidity, mineral, smoke, blood, and iron. It is hardcore Syrah, for those who love the Old World. It starts life full of red fruit, then gradually the funk develops after about a year.
The 2017 Cabernet is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Merlot. It was aged in 35% new French oak for 22 months. Our vineyards in Washington for Cabernet Sauvignon are simply stunning. The wine can be reminiscent of the Old World and historical California from the 1980s and 90s, a rare style today.