Gramercy Cellars Walla Walla Syrah 2008
Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Washington
This wine shows massive smoke, pepper, and the entire charcuterie catalog of Salumi in Seattle, black olive, licorice flavors and elegant black fruits. It balances acidity with intense richness and a touch of vanilla spice. In our opinion, this wine rivals the 2007 John Lewis Syrah. There, we said it.
Wine & Spirits - "A great interplay between fruit and spice, this syrah’s scents range from leather and black pepper to anise, ginger and nutmeg. The black fig and plum flavors are dark and concentrated, the finish lasting on savory spice—cinnamon, mint and plum skin. Like other Gramercy wines tasted for this issue, this feels youthful, needing time in the cellar to fill out."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Syrah Walla Walla Valley received the same elevage as the Lagniappe cuvee. However it offers more both aromatically and in the mouth. Scents of bacon, game, incense, spice box, blueberry, and plum leads to a layered, already complex Syrah. It displays both elegance and power along with a lengthy, fruit-filled finish. It will offer prime drinking from 2013 to 2023."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright full ruby. Knockout northern Rhone aromas of blackberry, licorice and smoked meat; I would have put this somewhere between Cornas and Hermitage. Juicy, reticent and complex, with youthfully closed flavors of dark berries and spices. This was vinified with 80% whole clusters, saw no new oak, and was only racked for the bottling, which took place a week before my July visit to Washington. On the finish, this is more juicy Cornas than dense, powerful Hermitage."
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Gramercy Cellars Winery
Founded in 2005, Gramercy Cellars is the realization of Greg and Pam Harrington's dream to make fine wine in a special place.
Prior to founding Gramercy Cellars, Greg spent what seemed like a lifetime as a sommelier and wine program director for top chefs such as Joyce Goldstein, Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck. Since becoming the youngest American to pass the Master Sommelier Exam at the age of 26, Greg has been passionate about someday making his own wine. His Washington odyssey began in the Spring of 2004, at a backyard picnic in Brooklyn, hosted by the Walla Walla Wine Alliance. There, Greg and Pam tasted wines that surprised them. They were very 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 later that spring (and Pam's discovery of the term "palate fatigue") convinced them that Walla Walla was in their future. First, this meant "when they retire." That quickly became "5 years from now." Meanwhile, Greg worked harvest in 2004 in Walla Walla and was more convinced than ever that Walla Walla was the place in the United States to make the wines he loves. Soon thereafter, Pam gave him the green light to leave his restaurant industry job to seize the opportunity to finally follow his dreams full time, resulting in Gramercy's first harvest in 2005. In 2006, Greg and Pam moved to Washington to establish and build the legacy of great Washington wine at Gramercy Cellars. View all Gramercy Cellars Wines
About Walla Walla ValleyView a map of Walla Walla Valley wineries
Sharing part of the valley with Oregon, Walla Walla is on the southeast side of the Columbia Valley. It is primarily red grape land, with Cabernet Sauvignon leading in the vineyards, followed by Merlot and the ever-growing and very popular, Syrah.In the 1990's, as Washington State was gaining more acclaim for its red wines, Walla Walla was hailed by wine critics for its quality and sense of place. That has not changed. Many red wines from Walla Walla show not only great complexity and elegance, but ageability. Though the region is known for the red wines, the most planted white grape here is Chardonnay.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.