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Gramercy CellarsGramercy Cellars

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Tasting Room

Tasting Room Hours
Open Saturday 11am to 5pm*
By appointment Wednesday - Friday.

*We regret that due to the size of our tasting room,
we cannot accept parties of 8 or more without a
reservation on Saturday.

To schedule an appointment, please email:
tastings@gramercycellars.com at least 24 hours prior to your visit.
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For all other inquiries, please email: info@gramercycellars.com

Wine Club Information: robbi@gramercycellars.com
Winemaking/Winery Operations: brandon@gramercycellars.com
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635 N. 13th Ave. Walla Walla, WA 99362
+1 509-876-2427

Recognition

“Best American Winery Nominee”

Wine Enthusiast (2015)

Wines

2013 John Lewis Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

The John Lewis release email is always a love/hate exercise for us.  It’s always extremely exciting, as we have the opportunity to share a wine we truly love.  We hate it because the quantities are extremely limited, and this is a wine we want to share with everyone. The 2013 vintage, however, offers great news.  First, it is an classic vintage. As we have said before, it is a vintage that will drink well in both the short and long term. Second, we were able to produce more John Lewis in 2013 than any other vintage, without making any compromises.  It’s still a mere 221 cases, but far more than the scant 90 from the 2011 vintage or the 50 from the 2008 vintage.

Its interesting to me that as I read last year’s John Lewis release letter, I began with “the 2012 vintage was the year of the hillsides”  The 2013 John Lewis continues that trend, revisiting the classic vineyard for John Lewis – Les Collines Vineyard and Block 46.  While Block 46 always finds its way into the blend each year, it was also the major block for the 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2012 John Lewis blends. However, we took the 2013 one step further.  This wine is 100% Les Collines and 100% Block 46. Who says we don’t make single vineyard wines?

Our winemaking formula remains consistent: harvest early, ferment slowly in open top tanks, 100% stems, and leave it in a puncheon for 18 months.

Although Jeb Dunnuck of the Wine Advocate hasn’t officially rated the wine, he did sample it last year during his visit:

Probably the flagship Syrah, the John Lewis release comes all from the Les Collines vineyard in Walla Walla, specifically a single block (block 46) that’s located in mid-slope. It almost always sees 100% whole clusters during fermentation and spends 18 months in neutral puncheons. The 2013 Syrah John Lewis is a gorgeous example of this cuvee and gives lots of crushed violets, lavender, olive, pepper and gaminess to go with a full-bodied, layered, yet lively and fresh profile on the palate. Still firm and tight, this will be one of the longer-term prospects from this estate. It should benefit from 4-5 years of cellaring and have upwards of two decades of overall longevity.”      (94-96 pts)

BLEND:100% Syrah
VINEYARDS:Les Collines Block 46 (Walla Walla Valley)
AGING:100% Neutral French Oak Barrels
RELEASE:December 2015
WINERY RETAIL:  $85
PRODUCTION:221 cases

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2013 Lagniappe Syrah
Columbia Valley

We are continually fascinated by Red Willow Vineyard, farmed by the Sauer family in the Yakima Valley. Each year it seems to get better and better. We debated with making the 2013 Lagniappe a single vineyard wine. The Red Willow fruit could easily stand alone. However, with this wine we return to the past a bit. In 2005, when we first made Lagniappe, it was a blend of Yakima fruit and Forgotten Hills. In 2013, we again learned how brilliant Forgotten Hill blends with the great Syrah of Yakima. And blending it with Red Willow took the wine to another level. The final blend is 80% Red Willow and 20% Forgotten Hills Phelps Clone. Flash-forward to the 2014 vintage – wait until you taste Red Willow out of a concrete fermenter. And when we say concrete, we don’t mean eggs. Those are for Easter or omelets. We mean 10,000 lb, 1500 gallon solid rectangular masses of mineral intensity. This wine was fermented 85% on stems and aged in a mix of older 225L and 500L puncheons for 18 months.

 

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. (93-95 pts Jeb Dunnuck)

 

Tasting notes: Smoked meat, intense core of red fruit, blueberry, mineral, black olive, pepper. Medium to medium plus bodied. Extremely complex.

BLEND:100% Syrah
VINEYARDS:Red Willow/Forgotten Hills
ALCOHOL:13.7%
RELEASE:April 2016
WINERY RETAIL:  $55
PRODUCTION:658 cases

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2013 Forgotten Hills, Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to write this tasting note. (Greg) I have obsessed over this vineyard since I discovered Washington wine. We have used fruit from Forgotten Hills in most of the vintages from 2005 – 2012, albeit in very small quantities. In 2015, we had the opportunity to purchase the vineyard.

 

Jeff Hill planted the vineyard in a basalt filled field behind his house because he needed something to do during retirement. He said his kids forgot about him when they went to college. Sitting near the base of the Blue Mountains, very near Les Collines, I haven’t found another vineyard similar in Washington. Because of the cool air rolling off the mountains, the climate is substantially cooler than the typical Walla Walla vineyard. There is usually a 3-week window between harvest at Les Collines and Forgotten Hills.

 

Forgotten Hills is about acidity, mineral, smoke, blood and iron. Yes, I wrote that. It is hard core Syrah, for those that love the Old World. It starts life full of red fruit, then gradually the funk develops after about a year.

 

This wine was fermented 55% on stems and aged in a mix of older 225L and 500L puncheons for 18 months.

 

A new wine that’s from their newly purchased Forgotten Hills Vineyard, which is cool terroir, the 2013 Syrah Forgotten Hills checks in at 13% alcohol and wasn’t harvest until October 15. It will see 18 months in puncheons before bottling. Beautifully fresh and focused, with lots of dried violet, peppery herbs, hints of meatiness and a solid core of fruit, it has solid depth, medium to full-bodied weight and impressive purity and polish to its tannin. Give it a few years once released. (92-94 pts Jeb Dunnuck)

 

Tasting notes: Smoked meat, raspberry, blackberry, black olive, stone, iron, blood, red flowers. Extremely fresh and vibrant. Racy acidity. Medium bodied.

BLEND:100% Syrah
AGING:Neutral French Oak Barrels
ALCOHOL:13.5%
RELEASE:April 2016
WINERY RETAIL:  $60
PRODUCTION:212 cases

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2013 The Deuce Syrah
Walla Walla Valley

In 2013, we believe this wine takes another step forward. In a story that will continue to unfold, in 2013 we again gained access to the famed Forgotten Hills Vineyard. Planted by Jeff Hill in the early 1990s, the vineyard was one of the first to put Washington Syrah on the map. Sitting almost at the base of Les Collines, this vineyard greatly benefits from the cool air draining off the slope. It’s almost entirely basalt, with little soil. The vineyard stands alone, as will be seen next release. But it’s also an amazing complement for Les Collines, adding acid, stone and red fruit to the blend.

 

Tasting Note: Earth, mineral, red/blue fruit (not strawberry, raspberry, more red cherry), rich, acid+, firm tannin, savory, pepper, smoke. Very reminiscent of the Rhone. Maybe my favorite version of this wine to date?

 

“Formerly called the Walla Walla Syrah, the 2013 Syrah The Deuce comes mostly from the Les Collines vineyard, yet also incorporates smaller amounts from Forgotten Hills and The Rocks vineyards. Aged 18 months in 10% new Puncheons, this sees slightly more whole clusters than the Columbia Valley Syrah, with almost 60% of the grapes fermented with no destemming. It has a lot of Rocks character in its meaty, pepper, lavender, olive and black and blue fruit-driven bouquet. This is followed by a full-bodied, concentrated and balanced Syrah that has solid tannic grip and good acidity.” Jeb Dunnuck (92-94)

BLEND:100% Syrah
VINEYARDS:Les Collines, Forgotten Hills
AGING:18 months in neutral puncheon and 225L barrels. 60% whole cluster.
ALCOHOL:13.5%
RELEASE:October 2015
WINERY RETAIL:  $54
PRODUCTION:775 cases

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Syrah
Columbia Valley

The 2012 vintage welcomes a new wine for us, a Columbia Valley AVA designated wine.  It blends 4 vineyards – the northerly Minick and Olsen with two Walla Walla Rocks sources – SJR and Stony Vine.  Minick and Olsen provide red fruit and freshness, the Rocks gives pepper, funk, smoke, depth, and structure.  Red cherry, blueberry, raspberry, leather, saline, meat, smoke, funk, violets, crisp acidity and energy.

BLEND:100% Syrah
AGING:Aged 18 months in neutral French barrels. 40% whole cluster.
ALCOHOL:13.7%
WINERY RETAIL:  $40
PRODUCTION:1100 cases

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2013 The Third Man
Grenache/Syrah/Mourvédre
Columbia Valley

Blending the Third Man is always a fantastic experience. In past years, we have made Syrah heavy blends, wines with and without Mourvedre, blends that are almost equal parts of the three varieties, etc. It’s a never ending experiment. This year, we went in with a firm assumption that we wanted to make a wine that could be labeled as Grenache. We believe in Washington Grenache and want to showcase it in the Third Man. As with the 2012, we have again found that elusive red- black fruit balance with this year showing more black fruit than red fruit. While other blends have been Olsen Vineyard dominate, in 2013 we felt Alder Ridge in the Horse Heaven Hills was the best base for this wine, as the warm days provide plenty of ripeness, leading to black fruit flavors. The Syrah, from Olsen Vineyard, brings freshness and acid. Mourvedre aka the best grape in Washington, finishes the wine with smoked meat and adds mid palate intensity. As the years go on, we continue to leave more stems in the blend.

 

Tasting Note: Similar to the Olsen MTA, but more sauvage and garrigue. Green herb, stone/slate/mineral, more blue/black than red fruit, deep intensity, rich.

BLEND:76% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 5% Mourvédre
VINEYARDS:Olsen, Alder Ridge
AGING:2-7 year old puncheons and 225L barrels. French.
ALCOHOL:14.7%
RELEASE:November 2015
WINERY RETAIL:  $42
PRODUCTION:521 cases

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2013 L’Idiot Du Village, Mourvédre, Columbia Valley

The 2013 Mourvèdre is potentially better than the 2012. We continue to be blown away by the complexity and intensity of the Mourvèdre from both Olsen and Alder Ridge Vineyards. Each vineyard contributes something different. Olsen is all about freshness and aromatics. Alder Ridge brings depth and structure. The Lídiot du Village is possible our most earth wine in 2013. What is even more fascinating is the speed in which this wine sells out and its quasi cult following.

 

The 2013 L’Idiot is 90% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah from Alder Ridge and Olsen Vineyards. We fermented this with 30% whole cluster and aged the wine for 20 months in old oak.

 

A wine that’s seeing a longer elevage in barrel, the 2013 L’Idiot du Village is a stunner, and could possibly eclipse the 2012. It exhibits perfumed notes of spring flowers, blackberry, blueberry and crushed rocks, medium to full-bodied richness, impressive concentration and building tannin that start on the mid-palate and show up nicely on the finish. A complete, balanced Mourvèdre, it will have 10-15 years of longevity. (92-94 pts Jeb Dunnuck)

 

Tasting notes: Well-cooked pot roast, leather, smoked meat, red flowers, plum, raspberries, currant, sweet cherries. Extreme length.

 

BLEND:90% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah
VINEYARDS:OlsenAlder Ridge
ALCOHOL:13.5%
RELEASE:April 2016
WINERY RETAIL:  $42
PRODUCTION:327 cases

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2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley

This is a wine that we have been dying to release. This may be a surprise, but we almost stopped making Cabernet to be a Rhone only winery. Greg didn’t feel that we understood Cabernet or that it had the same potential as Syrah in Washington. Instead of giving up, we doubled down and got to work. We re-assessed every vineyard, dropping a few and adding a couple, including one legendary vineyard that is over 40 years old. We spoke with great producers all over the world. We realized two things with this wine. First, we love the combination of Phinny Hill blended with Sagemoor Vineyard. Phinny gives structure, finesse and earth while Sagemoor contributes fruit, depth and power. Secondly, we love extended maceration on Cabernet, sometime leaving the wine in tank for 40 days or more.

 

This comment by Jeb Dunnuck is our payoff – “While more widely known for their Syrah releases, don’t miss the Bordeaux blends here”

 

Tasting Note: A combination of finesse and power. Red and black fruit. Cedar, gravel, smoke, vanilla and baking spices. Firm acidity and tannin, but elegant.

 

“The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is most likely the greatest vintage of this cuvee to date. Full-bodied, ripe, layered and yet still elegant and beautifully balanced, it offers classic currants, black raspberry, graphite, lead pencil and cedar aromas and flavors. A blend of 92% Cabernet and 8% Merlot that saw 23 months in 40% new French oak, it has high-quality tannin, ample texture and a rock-star finish. This beauty will have two decades of longevity.” Jeb Dunnuck 94 pts

BLEND:92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot
VINEYARDS:Phinny Hill, Sagemoor
AGING:23 months in 35% new French oak
ALCOHOL:14.2%
RELEASE:October 2015
WINERY RETAIL:  $48
PRODUCTION:1308 cases

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Vineyards

Our Story

  • Greg Harrington, MS

    Founder / Winemaker

    Greg Harrington is the founder of and winemaker for Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington. His winemaking focuses on great Washington vineyards, minimalist intervention, and balanced, earthy wines. At Gramercy, he focuses primarily on Rhone and Bordeaux varietals.

    In 2008, Seattle Magazine named Greg “Best New Winemaker in Washington” and Gramercy “Best New Winery.” Food & Wine Magazine awarded Gramercy the “Best New Winery in America” in 2010. Wine & Spirits Magazine has named Gramercy to its “Top 100 Wineries in the World” list in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    In 1996 at the age of 26, Greg Harrington passed the Master Sommelier Exam, a title held by fewer than 130 people in the U.S. He currently serves as Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas.

    A 1992 graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, Greg began his career in wine as a sommelier at Joyce Goldstein’s Square One restaurant in San Francisco. From San Francisco, Greg travelled to New Orleans to serve as wine director for Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants in New Orleans and Las Vegas. While with Emeril, Greg developed a wine program that earned Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, which has been awarded to fewer than 100 restaurants in the U.S. He then moved to Las Vegas to join the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, which includes the Spago, Postrio, and Chinois restaurants, as an associate partner and wine director. Greg’s last foray in the restaurant business was in New York City with Steve Hanson and BR Guest Restaurants and James Hotels. There he oversaw the wine and alcohol programs for 15 restaurants and hotels in New York City, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, and Chicago.

    Greg is a Christian and attends Mission Church in Walla Walla. He is regularly involved with charitable causes locally in Walla Walla and Seattle, as well as across the United States.

  • Pam Harrington

    The Brains

    Although no stranger to a wine glass, Pam Harrington would not generally be categorized as a wine “expert.” Following her graduation from Georgetown in 1997, she started her career in Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan in NYC and, for the past decade, has recruited Private Equity investment professionals across the country. She currently recruits for a large asset manager in Seattle. Although her knowledge of wine does seem to grow with each sip, it is not likely that Pam will be directing winemaking efforts at Gramercy any time soon. Instead, she supports Greg in financing the growth of the business and acquiring vineyards.

    A native of the Philadelphia suburbs, Pam’s family now lives in Seattle. Pam is proud to have been able to give her father’s name to Gramercy’s “John Lewis” Reserve Syrah. It is because of his life’s hard work that Greg and Pam have been able to found Gramercy Cellars.

  • Brandon Moss

    Partner / Assistant Winemaker

    Since joining Gramercy during the 2008 harvest, Brandon has been the assistant winemaker, becoming partner in 2011. Brandon grew up in the Walla Walla Valley on a small family farm, in which his family cultivated plum trees and also raised a wide assortment of farm animals, from chickens to cows to pigs, and even a goat. Opting to part ways with farm life, Brandon made his way to Oregon State University to take dental classes. After four years of smelling people’s bad breath, however, he realized that his true passion did not lie in dentistry—he wanted to create those stained teeth, not clean them! So he switched his major to fermentation science with an eye to becoming a winemaker, a move that put him squarely in the crosshairs of the farm life he had been so eager to leave behind. He graduated Oregon State in 2006 with a degree in food science, an option in fermentation science, with minors in business and chemistry.

    In 2006, Brandon worked harvest for King Estate Winery in Eugene, Oregon, and soon found himself on a flight to New Zealand’s Marlborough region to work with an enormous contract winery, Indevin. At Indevin, Brandon and the team processed 15,000 tons of Sauvignon Blanc grapes—almost 225 times the amount of fruit processed at Gramercy Cellars in 2008. Brandon still waxes poetic about all of the great, high-tech gear he used at Indevin.

    After harvest in New Zealand, Brandon made his way back to Walla Walla to work in the appellation he knew so well, and where new and exciting wines were now being produced. In 2007, he joined Waters Winery, where he eventually became cellar master. In 2008, he first assisted Gramercy, particularly during harvest, and in early 2009 joined Gramercy full time as the assistant winemaker. Brandon was named partner in 2011.

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.