As I sit here writing at my home in Seattle, the weather is beautiful. We haven’t had rain in a very long time. The Rosé has been flowing, and the doors open all day while we sit on the patio. Best of all, I am very happy that I haven’t been on an airplane in about a month.
2014 was a crazy year for travel. We visited many markets, both US and international. I say we because Brandon, Robbi, and Emily went on some trips as well. Not sure how they visited Portland, Seattle, Boston and Whitefish, Montana, when I went to small towns in the Midwest during tornados and thunderstorms.
Gramercy now sits with production at about 8,000 cases, selling in 30+ states and 10 or so countries. With the release of the 2012 vintage, I feel we have our lineup set. I don’t expect to make new wines. Well, maybe just one more Syrah. We are currently negotiating to purchase one of the most exciting and proven Syrah vineyards in Walla Walla. Cross our fingers, hold our breath, etc.…We will probably want to give this vineyard it’s own bottling.
Speaking of travel, we just got back from a tour of the Loire Valley in France and Copenhagen. The goats and fish tour. If you haven’t been to the Loire Valley, it is highly recommended. The Loire is much more relaxed than many parts of France and pretty much tourist free, unless you visit a well know castle. We did a bit of wine research, seeing a few properties in Vouvray and Sancerre. The highlight of the visit was to walk the vineyards and taste at Charles Joguet in Chinon. They are making some fantastic Cabernet Franc. We are also glad to say that last year’s intern extraordinaire Dave Yoshida will be working with them for all of 2015.
After that, we jetted off to Copenhagen. No, NOMA was closed. However, AMASS Restaurant was mind-blowing. Its run by an American Chef named Matt Orlando. He has worked for a few famous places as Chef de Cuisine – NOMA and Per Se. Absolutely crazy experience. He also recommended that we go to his friend’s restaurant, Bror. Two hits in a row. What we perhaps didn’t understand was the passion for natural wines i.e. sans sulfur. Every wine on every list was natural wine. One fault bad, three faults amazing? I don’t get it. We did have a fantastic bottle of white/orange/brown wine from Frank Cornelissen. Well done. But these wines are like going camping for a bit too long. For a while its kind of cool, but after a while, you just stink. Maybe I’m just old. Or like things clean.
Now it is time for some winemaker clichés. Brandon and I have been particularly excited about the 2012 vintage. You have to love when everything goes right. It gets scary when everything is going right. We just stand around the winery waiting for something to happen – a sudden freeze that we didn’t expect, the truck to break – so many things can go wrong. We feel it’s a bit easier to deal with the tougher vintages like 2010 or 2011. We tend to stay on our game all day. In 2012, we just kinda sit around and drink beer while interns process perfect fruit. Put it in the fermenter, its ferments steady and clean, and put it in a barrel. Winemakers end up feeling totally useless. But that is the story of 2012. It’s a fantastic vintage a la 2007.
Brandon and I have been thinking about how to get better. How do we take it all to the next level? Obviously, we are working in the vineyards. We are diligently working with our growers to grow us the best grapes possible. We also have 4 or 5 specific plantings for us in some of our best vineyards – clonal Cabernet in Red Willow, head-trained Grenache in Olsen, and Cabernet Sauvignon in gravel at Phinny Hill.
Even more exciting: as I write this, Brandon has a huge, and I mean huge, forklift at the winery, and he is installing our two new Nomblot concrete tanks. These are large rectangular tanks. You may have heard of concrete eggs for fermentation, but eggs are for breakfast and Easter. After my tour of the Rhone last year, I left knowing that we needed some true concrete for fermentation. We will fire it up this vintage. We are also debating lowering SO2 levels in our ferments and perhaps even native ferments on all of our lots this year. We will see. What I know is that we will do whatever it takes to make better wines every year.
We have a new wine this release that we feel will become a Washington Syrah standard – Columbia Valley Syrah. Over the past years, we have received many, many requests for a Syrah with a bit more availability. As our Syrah sources have exploded, in 2012 we felt we were finally able to offer a wine that is both Gramercy Syrah label worthy in a larger quantity. For the first time, we introduce the 2012 Columbia Valley Syrah. (See notes below) Think rocks fruit, with acid.
I feel this is an incredible release and a fantastic way to introduce you to the spectacular 2012 vintage. As always, we thank you for supporting us.
Greg, Pam, Brandon, Robbi & Emily
*Please see below for information on shipping, ordering, our Seattle Fall Release party, tasting notes, and Greg’s Cellar Sounds.
For questions regarding your order, please feel free to call us at 509-876-2427.
The Rhone Club will receive 2 each of the following wines in the Fall 2014 Shipment:
2012 Syrah, The Deuce, Walla Walla Valley
2012 Syrah, Columbia Valley
2012 Grenache/Syrah/Mourvédre, The Third Man, Columbia Valley
Rhone Club Total Shipment Cost = $227.80 (inclusive of 15% discount, free shipping, prior to sales tax).
We will charge your credit card for this shipment on September 2nd.
Adding wine to your order? Click on the Login button at the top right of your screen and then proceed to View My Allocation to purchase additional wine. Please click the combine with club box in your shopping cart checkout. We will be happy to ship your club order for free as always. Additional purchases of 3 or more bottles will also qualify for free shipping if combined with the club shipment.
An invoice will be emailed to you at the time your credit card is charged and will also be available in your online profile under the View My Orders sub-menu.
For additional questions regarding your order, please feel free to call us at 509-876-2427.
Please click HERE to return to the Gramercy Cellars homepage to login to your personal account for more details or to place an order.
SEATTLE CUSTOMERS – SAVE THE DATE!
We are having a Fall Release Pick-up Party on Thursday, September 18th from 5pm – 8pm.
If you live in the Seattle area and would like to pick up your wines at the Seattle Release Party on September 18th, please select the Pick up at The Georgetown Ballroom option while in your account settings. Email Emily at Emily@gramercycellars.com or call 509-876-2427 to RSVP. Thank you!
If you have selected the Pick Up At The Winery option, the wines will be ready for pickup in Walla Walla any time beginning September 5th. Please let us know that you’re planning to visit so that we can have your shipment ready for your arrival!
SHIPPING – PLEASE READ
Weather permitting, we would like to start shipping around September 22nd, via FedEx ground. We will send your wine to you as soon as we feel it will make the trip without being damaged by variable temperatures. Please email Robbi at Robbi@gramercycellars.com if you have questions regarding your shipment or specific dates when you will not be available to accept your shipment.
Ryan Adams – My Wrecking Ball (single)
Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (love this)
Deadmau5 – while(1<2)
Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
The War on Drugs – Lost in a Dream
Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
Star Anna – Go to Hell