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Gramercy CellarsGramercy Cellars

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Tasting Room

Tasting Room Hours:

By Appointment Tuesday through Friday
Open Saturdays 11am to 5pm

To schedule an appointment please email
nichole@gramercycellars.com
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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

“2011 John Lewis Syrah…is a gorgeous wine that will have 15 years or more of total longevity and should not be missed.”

The Wine Advocate (2014)

Wines

2014 John Lewis Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

As we have stated a few times in the past, we have really changed our view on Syrah and phenolic ripeness.  We feel that with Washington’s abundant sunshine, Syrah reaches full phenolic ripeness much earlier than most in the valley. Each vintage we pick Syrah a bit earlier, seeking freshness and elegance, over sweetness and power.

The 2014 John Lewis Syrah is from Les Collines Vineyard Block 46.  Picked on September 15th at 22.8 Brix, we fermented the wine 100% whole cluster, 60% coming from our Nomblot concrete tank and 40% from small stainless steel bins.  The fermentation lasted 21 days and was fermented by native yeasts. The Syrah was then moved into puncheons to age for 18 months where it was never racked and then bottled unfined and unfiltered.

“…the 2014 Syrah John Lewis is all from a small parcel in the Les Collines vineyard and is 100% Syrah that’s fermented with 100% whole clusters. It offers lots of pepper and olive notes as well as ripe blackberry and plum fruits, lavender and forest floor notes to go with a medium to full-bodied, layered, nicely concentrated, mouth-filling profile on the palate. It doesn’t have the precision of the Lagniappe, but it has more richness and breadth on the palate. It too should drink nicely for 10-15 years.”  Jeb Dunnuck The Wine Advocate    (93-95 pts)

BLEND:100% Syrah, 100% Whole Cluster Fermentation
VINEYARDS:Les Collines Block 46 (Walla Walla Valley)
AGING:Fermented 60% in Concrete, Aged 18 months in neutral French Puncheons
ALCOHOL:13%
RELEASE:December 2016
WINERY RETAIL:  $85
PRODUCTION:280 cases

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2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

This is our second release of the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. We are as excited about the 2013 vintage as we were with the 2012 wine. We are extremely fortunate to have these vineyard sources that provide depth, complexity and power.

“The 243-case 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a beautiful, elegant Cabernet that incorporates 12% Merlot and comes from the Bacchus, Phinny Hill and Loess vineyards. Aged 22 months in 65% new French oak, it offers tons of toasted bread, espresso roast, lead pencil shavings and dried herbs to go with a core of black cherry and darker currant-like fruits. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, impeccably balanced, and with terrific length, it shows the more streamlined style of the vintage, yet has enough density and depth to reward short-term cellaring, and drink well for two decades or more after that.” Jeb Dunnuck The Wine Advocate    (95+ pts)

The 2013 Cabernet Reserve is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 58% from Sagemoor-Bacchus Block 9 and 30% from the Gunselman Block 1 at Phinny Hill. Interestingly, this is about opposite of the 2012 vintage. The remaining 12% is Merlot from Loess Vineyard in Walla Walla, which is owned by the Figgins Family.

We made the 2013 Reserve almost exactly the same as the 2012. With Cabernet we love extended fermentation, which adds silky tannins and length to the wine.  In 2012, we did an extended maceration on the Bacchus Cabernet, with the 2013 we chose the Gunselman Cabernet. The fermentation of the Gunselman Cabernet lasted almost 45 days – with a 20-day primary fermentation and 25 days of extended maceration.  To select the blend, we tasted all our Cabernet lots blind.  The lots selected were our two favorites. We blended the wine in 2014 and aged in 65% new French Oak.

BLEND:88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot
VINEYARDS:Bacchus Vineyard, Phinny Hill, Loess Vineyard
AGING:22 months in 65% new French Oak.
ALCOHOL:14.2%
RELEASE:December 2016
WINERY RETAIL:  $95
PRODUCTION:243 cases

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2014 The Third Man Grenache
Columbia Valley

We are excited for the 2014 Third Man. We are ever searching for a mix of red and black fruit for this wine. In 2014, I believe we achieved that goal.  Most excitingly, the 2014 Third Man brings a new variety to the fold at Gramercy.  In 2010, we asked Leif Olsen to plant Carignan for us at Olsen Vineyard. While it takes 70 or so years for Carignan to stand on its own at a world class level, even young it is a fantastic blending component. In the Third Man, it adds spice, mid palate and freshness.

In addition to Carignan, the Third Man again features Grenache from Alder Ridge and Olsen.  Alder Ridge Grenache brings power, texture and black fruit, which Olsen Grenache adds red fruit and aromatic complexity.  The Forgotten Hills Clone 99 Syrah is a new addition to this blend. We have a small planting on Clone 99, which is rumored to originate from the hill of Hermitage. This Syrah adds earthy iron component to the wine. Lastly, we round out the wine with Olsen Mourvedre, an incredible site for Mourvedre.

The 2014 Third Man is 70% whole cluster, far about the 50% we have done in past vintages. As with our Syrah’s, we tend to like the blocks with a higher percentage of whole cluster and continue to increase each year.  I foresee a day when we don’t break out the crusher destemmer until the Bordeaux varieties arrive at the winery. The wine was aged in 100% neutral French oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Ripe red and black fruits – raspberry cough drop (I usually find this in better Southern Rhones), cranberry, black cherry, white pepper, big, rich, ripe. Fantastic herbal notes and smoke.

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. (94pts – Jeb Dunnuck The Wine Advocate)

BLEND:75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Mourvédre, 5% Carignan
VINEYARDS:Olsen, Alder Ridge, Forgotten Hills
AGING:22 months in 2-7 year old puncheons and 225L barrels. French.
ALCOHOL:14.8%
RELEASE:November 2016
WINERY RETAIL:  $36
PRODUCTION:571 cases

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2013 Syrah
Columbia Valley

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.

BLEND:100% Syrah
AGING:Aged 18 months in neutral French barrels. 50% whole cluster.
ALCOHOL:13.9%
WINERY RETAIL:  $40
PRODUCTION:1573 cases

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2014 The Deuce Syrah
Walla Walla Valley

The 2014 Deuce Syrah is a different wine than usual.  In the past we always explained the wine in terms of blue and black fruit – blueberry, black cherry, etc.  However, in tasting this wine over the past year, we kept using red fruit descriptors – raspberry, cranberry, red cherry.  This change results from the purchase of the Forgotten Hills Vineyard.  We always begin the Deuce blend with Les Collines Vineyard, particularly blocks 46 and 36 on the steeper upper section of the vineyard.  Adding Forgotten Hills to this blend is a natural extension for the wine.  The vineyard sits almost at the base of Les Collines and is greatly influenced by the Blue Mountains.  The cool air rolls down the Blues every night and sits directly over the vineyard.  With very shallow soils over fractured basalt, Forgotten Hills brings freshness, acidity and structure to the wine.  Les Collines contributes its typical aromatic elegance and complexity.

The 2014 Deuce is about 70% whole cluster.  As usual, we didn’t destem the Les Collines fruit.  We used about 50% whole cluster for the Forgotten Hills, as sometimes the stems at the vineyard are slightly bitter.  We expect with the new vineyard management, and particularly the switch to organic viticulture, that we will soon ferment Forgotten Hills without destemming.

Brandon and I agree, this is the best Deuce Syrah to date at Gramercy.

Tasting Notes: Red fruit – raspberry, cranberry, red cherry.  Garrigue, green olive, black pepper, extremely aromatic, very open for this stage on the nose.  Almost Red Willow like.  Acid Medium plus, tannin moderate plus, light, fresh on the palate. A very different Deuce.

“More Hermitage in style compared to the floral, pretty Columbia Valley Syrah, the 2014 Syrah The Deuce gives up lots of meaty fruits, olive tapenade, smoked earth, peat moss and pepper in a full-bodied, mouth-filling, rich, yet balanced style.  It’s another fabulous Syrah from Greg that will drink nicely in its youth, yet age for a decade or more.” (92-94 points) Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

BLEND:100% Syrah
VINEYARDS:Les Collines, Forgotten Hills
AGING:18 months in neutral puncheon and 225L barrels. 70% whole cluster.
ALCOHOL:13.3%
RELEASE:October 2016
WINERY RETAIL:  $54
PRODUCTION:858 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 Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley

I wrote a bunch of expletives (in a good way) for my tasting notes on this wine.  We really like the 2013 Cabernet’s at Gramercy.  I think the debate of which vintage is better in Washington, 2012 or 2013, will continue for years to come.  Much like Burgundy in 1990 and 1991 and Margaux in 1982 and 1983, the consensus of which is the better vintage is questioned.  As of right now, I am leaning towards 2013, but ask me again in six months.  They are both outstanding vintages for Cabernet Sauvignon in Washington.

Traditionally, this wine is a blend of Dionysus and Bacchus near Red Mountain and Phinny Hill in Horse Heaven Hills.  However, in 2013, the Columbia Valley is more of a kitchen sink blend.  And since I just spent an outrageous amount of money on a farmhouse apron frontsink, I use the term in the best possible way.  Never did I ever expect to know what “farmhouse apron front” meant.

With the Reserve Cabernet in 2013, we did go with the traditional Red Mountain-ish Horse Heaven Hills blend.  For the Columbia Valley blend, we started with Bacchus, Dionysus and Phinny, but then rounded out the wine with a bit of estate fruit from our Octave Vineyard.  In 2013, we also had access to Andrew Will’s Two Blondes Vineyard.  This added that beautiful earthly “Margaux” thing that Jeb Dunnuck mentions.  We also added a bit of Loess Vineyard Merlot, owned by the Figgins Family in Walla Walla.

The 2013 Cabernet is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot.  It was aged in 40% new French oak and the remainder in 2-5 year old French barrels.

Tasting Notes: A combination of red and black fruit.  Intense mid palate concentration.  Floral nose.  Pencil, tobacco, cedar and integrated herbal notes.  A bit of vanilla and baking spice from French oak.  Ripe, but elegant.

“Offering a pretty, elegant, dare I say Margaux-like bouquet of lead pencil shavings, spice-box, tobacco leaf, black raspberries and blackberries, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is medium to full-bodied, utterly seamless, elegant and layered on the palate, with no hard edges, sweet tannin and a great finish.  It puts on weight (and deepens in color) with time in the glass, is impeccably balanced and beautifully concentrated, with tons of character.  A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot that spent 22 months in just under 40% new French, it will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and knock your socks off through 2040.  It shines more for its elegance and purity than overall power and richness but don’t let that stop you! (94 points) Jeb Dunnuck – Wine Advocate

BLEND:86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot & 4% Petit Verdot
VINEYARDS:Phinny Hill, Two Blondes, Bacchus, Dionysus, Octave, Loess & Old Stones
AGING:22 months in 39% new French Oak
ALCOHOL:14.2%
RELEASE:October 2016
WINERY RETAIL:  $50
PRODUCTION:947 cases

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2013 'Inigo Montoya' Tempranillo
Walla Walla Valley

The 2013 Tempranillo features a traditional blend found in Spain. In Rioja, the model for our Tempranillo, winemakers blend Tempranillo with Garnacha (Grenache), Graciano and Marzuelo (Carignan). The 2013 is a blend of 75% Tempranillo, 10% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Carignan. This is our first Tempranillo with Carignan, which adds depth and complexity to the blend.

Tasting Notes: Predominately blue and black fruits with a bit of red fruit – red currant, black cherry, blueberry, plum. Cigar box, green herbs – tarragon, rosemary. Smoked meat, soy, mushroom. Medium plus acidity, medium alcohol and dusty tannins. A bit of sweet oak with asian spice. Balanced but generous.

BLEND:75% Tempranillo, 10% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Carignan
VINEYARDS:Gramercy Estate, Les Collines, Olsen
AGING:A mix of new & neutral American & French Oak
ALCOHOL:14.1%
RELEASE:October 2016
WINERY RETAIL:  $42
PRODUCTION:490 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.