We are extremely excited about the Spring 2017 Release! Mostly because, after this winter, Spring is maybe the sexiest word in the English language. It was a tough winter in Walla Walla – fog, rain, freezing rain, sub-zero temperatures, snow. Repeat. Repeat again. Many have asked how the vineyards fared during this weather. While we are still evaluating each vineyard, early indications are very positive. We have healthy green buds in every vineyard that we checked. Yields may be down a bit, but in most cases, that increases quality.
Back to 2014. This is the second release of wines mostly from the 2014 vintage. As we have said in past newsletters, the 2014 vintage is strong, particularity for Rhone varieties. The 2014s are starting to open as tannins soften a bit. This is not a pop and pour vintage, however. We see the cellartracker.com reviews the day FedEx delivers… If you can’t wait to try, we have found that opening the wine for a day, and even better, two days reveals the full promise of the wine.
We are especially proud of the 2014 Forgotten Hills and Lagniappe Syrahs. The Forgotten Hills is racy and austere, it may some day be considered a benchmark wine for the vintage. 2014 was the first year we had 100% control over the Forgotten Hills vineyard. The Lagniappe is also very strong, but maybe a bit atypical. It’s a bit riper than previous vintages, but still retains its freshness and sense of “Red Willow-ness.” While we love picking early, we must let the vineyard decide on the perfect harvest date.
Walla Walla is the focus for the MTA wines this release, featuring the return of Cabernet Franc and a single vineyard Syrah from the Rocks. Cabernet Franc and Rocks Syrah are easily our most in demand MTA wines. If you have a chance to have dinner at the Harrington home, you will undoubtedly be served Cabernet Franc in some form, whether from the minuscule amount of MTA Cabernet Franc Robbi allocates to Greg, or from the Loire Valley. We have a bit of a Franc fetish right now.
Additionally, as Gramercy grows and evolves, we are seeking to make more single vineyard wines. While we can debate the blending vs. single vineyard philosophy for Syrah, when we can focus on one vineyard, we do not hesitate. The Old Stones Vineyard, on the cooler eastern edge of Rocks District, showed particularly well in 2014.
And of course, this release also brings Mourvèdre. We feel Mourvèdre is about to have a shining moment. We see a lot of excitement for the variety. It is as at home in Washington as it is in France.
This release also brings a redux from the 2013 Syrah vintage. We introduced the Columbia Valley Syrah in 2012. We have not included the Columbia Valley Syrah in any shipments, but upon popping a bottle this month, decided it had to be in the release. It’s hinting on tertiary flavors and is ready to drink as the box arrives. The wine also features quite a bit of Rocks fruit (Old Stones and SJR) with Yakima fruit, so is an interesting comparison to the other Syrah’s in the release.
If you live in or near Portland we invite the wine club to join us for our first ever Portland pick up party on Thursday, April 20th from 5 pm – 8 pm at the exceptional Bluehour in Portland, Oregon! Email us to RSVP!
We have some exciting new things coming in 2017. We will be releasing some video tasting notes soon. We are also planning both Gramercy events for MTA members and Master Sommelier type international tastings in a few cities around the country as well as in Walla Walla.
As always, we thank you for your support of Gramercy. It’s a true pleasure to share our wines with you.
Greg, Pam, Brandon, Robbi and Nichole