Quotes: We are ecstatic with the 2014 vintage. The wines are fresh, structured, and more complex than ever. The wines have a balance of fruit and earth that displays true elegance. We hope you enjoy the 2014 vintage as much as we enjoyed making them.
2014 The Deuce Walla Walla Syrah
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 sit 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. We used 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.
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+, tannin moderate+, light, fresh on the palate. A very different Deuce.
More Hermitage in style compared to 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. (92-94pts – Jeb Dunnuck The Wine Advocate)
2014 Third Man Columbia Valley Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre/Carignan
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 (yeah, that guy again) 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 Syrahs, 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.
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. (92 – 94pts – Jeb Dunnuck The Wine Advocate)
2013 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
I wrote a bunch of expletives (in a good way) for my tasting notes on this wine. We really like 2013 Cabernets 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 Sagemoor 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 of a farmhouse apron frontsink, I use the tem 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 Sagemoor and Phinney, 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 Blonds 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% Petite Verdot. It was aged in 40% new French oak and the remainder in 2-5 year old French barrels.
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!
(94pts – Jeb Dunnuck The Wine Advocate)