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Spring Release 2021

Spring Release 2021

Wow – we are excited! The rain and snow are gone. Spring is here as the temperature approaches 60 degrees in the Walla Walla Valley. The vineyards (and the world) are starting to wake up. We can’t wait to see what 2021 brings.

We begin with the 2020 Picpoul and Rosé. Both wines are beautiful – crisp and fresh, perfect for the start of Spring. Even having just been bottled, the wines are aromatically alive and explosive. They will improve with age but are now entirely ready for the backyard BBQ or late afternoon Zoom call.

Next, we have contrasting Rhône wines 2018 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah, our third release of this vineyard, and the absolute crowd pleaser, 2018 Third Man, based on Olsen Vineyard. Lastly, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that seems to get more exciting and Old World every release.

This release finishes the 2017 vintage and lands squarely in the 2018 vintage. We have spoken much of 2017, with the wines being relatively open at release. The 2018 vintage seems a bit more closed and requires patience or a good decant. The wines are deep and intense, right now showing more on the palate than in the nose. We are reminded of the 2012 vintage, though the 2018 vintage was cooler. While writing tasting notes, it was incredible to see the wines open and change over a few hours and a couple of days.

As the world begins to emerge from lockdown, we hope to see you in Walla Walla or at an event soon. The winery is now open for tastings, with limited occupancy, in the tasting room. Starting in April, we will once again offer tastings outside on the crushpad. Most excitingly, we are beginning to look at tasting events in the summer and fall.

As always, thank you so much for your support of Gramercy Cellars.


Greg Harrington


2018 Grenache “Third Man”
$36 Retail – $30.60 MTA Wine Club

The 2018 Third Man is 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre. In previous vintages, this wine was frequently a blend of Alder Ridge and Olsen Vineyards, however, we decided that Olsen alone made a more complete and interesting wine. This vineyard is a true stand out, genuinely world-class site, for Southern Rhône varieties.

In 2018, we fermented the wine 85% whole cluster with native yeasts, mostly in concrete. We aged the wine in predominately neutral foudre, a.k.a. really big barrels, with a small amount in 500-liter puncheons and smaller barrels.

Tasting Notes: Some red fruit, but the nose leans to more purple and black fruit. Tar, purple flower, white pepper, and black olive. Green Provence herbs (the garrigue). More power than elegance which is unusual for this wine. Acid is fresh and firm. Tannins fall between medium and medium-plus. Balanced alcohol, even at 14%. Both earth and fruit flavors cover the palate.

Owen Bargreen – 93 Pts
Wine Enthusiast – 92 Pts
Wine & Spirits – 92 Pts


2018 Syrah “Les Collines”
$60 Retail – $51 MTA Wine Club

Planted in 2000, Les Collines has established itself, in a relatively short time, as one of the preeminent Syrah vineyards in Washington and beyond. In fact, it was the very first vineyard partnership for the winery, firming our decision to come to Washington to make wine in 2005.

Located in the Blue Mountains on the eastern side of the Walla Walla Valley, it sits between 1,140-1,370 feet elevation. At this altitude, the vineyard receives cooler temperatures and more rain than the surrounding valley. Here, we achieve the perfect balance of structure and flavor while minimizing alcohol levels.
The 2018 Les Collines Syrah is a blend of the upper blocks 36 and 46. The wine was fermented 70% whole cluster with native yeast from 20 to 24 days in concrete and stainless steel. The wine was aged in neutral oak barrels and 500-liter puncheons for 17 months.

Tasting Notes: A more restrained Les Collines Syrah. Red & purple fruits. Flowers with a box of 85% chocolate. Stone, tar, burnt orange, savory spices. Roasted meat. Acid medium+ with moderate tannin. Surprisingly fresh & fruit forward on the palate, as the nose suggests a weighty wine. Complex, remarkable mid-palate. Long length. Give it a day of air or big decant in the early years.

Wine & Spirits – 95 Pts
Jeb Dunnuck – 93+ Pts


2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
$50 Retail – $42.50 MTA Wine Club

The Cabernet Sauvignon has always contained two vital parts, Phinny Hill and Sagemoor Vineyards. In 2016, we started a noteworthy introduction of our Estate vineyards in Walla Walla. We have moved the vineyards from sustainable to organic and are ecstatic with the results.

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is about 50% Phinny Hill and 40% Sagemoor – Bacchus & Dionysus blocks. Phinny provides red fruit, backbone, and elegance. Sagemoor, with its aging vines from 25 to almost 50 years old, is all about power and complexity. The other 10% includes our two estate vineyards. Our JB George vineyard provided Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Franc and Merlot came from the Octave Estate Vineyard, located adjacent to but high above Seven Hills Vineyard.

Tasting Notes: Screams Cabernet all day. Laser focused & elegant. Pencil shavings & graphite. Not a dainty yellow #2, a huge, 2nd grade red pencil. Predominantly red fruits. Mushroom, gravel, cedar, dark chocolate, smoke. Dust/dirt. Acid is medium+ with sexy, developed tannins. Huge, long finish. Very serious. Slight herbal edge. Oak 100% integrated. Bottom line, wow.

Wine Advocate – 93+ Pts
Owen Bargreen – 93 Pts
Wine Enthusiast – 92 Pts
Wine & Spirits – 91 Pts


2020 Rosé “Olsen Vineyard”
$22 Retail – $18.70 MTA Wine Club

To make Rosé, we need to farm differently than we farm for red wines. We start by selecting the coolest blocks in the best Southern Rhône variety producing vineyard, Olsen, near Red Mountain. More importantly, we manage the vines differently, with a shade-producing canopy and a higher crop load, which helps retain acidity and keep alcohol levels manageable.

The Rosé begins with a brief maceration, a traditional Provençal technique. After whole-cluster pressing, the 50% Cinsault, 26% Grenache, and 24% Syrah were co-fermented together for a few days then aged without oak in stainless steel. Our ultimate goal – aromatic intensity and complexity, with racy acidity and freshness.

Tasting Notes: Melon, peach, apricot, green and yellow apple. Maybe even the soon to be famous Washington born and bred, absolutely fantastic Cosmic apple. Raspberry, Rainier cherry, strawberry compote. Stone, mineral, that Cinsault Parmesan cheese rind. Candle wax and lemon verbena. Zippy acidity, very fresh but still serious. Very long length.

Owen Bargreen – 93 Pts
Wine & Spirits – 92 Pts
Wine Enthusiast – 91 Pts


2020 Picpoul
$20 Retail – $17 MTA Wine Club

What exactly is Picpoul? The grape, translated as “lip stinger,” is thought to be native to France’s Languedoc region. Made on its own as Picpoul de Pinet, its real advantage is to add acidity & freshness to white Châteauneuf-du-Pape blends. Tablas Creek thought Picpoul would suit the warm vineyards of California exceptionally well. We think it’s stunning in Washington.

Picpoul from Los Oidos, in the Blue Mountains’ foothills near Les Collines, is the perfect, crisp summer white from Washington. It is the definition of crunchy, with screaming acidity and freshness. This wine was fermented cold in a stainless steel tank to ensure freshness. Malolactic fermentation was blocked to preserve that searing acidity we so love. Be careful because this bottle will disappear quickly.

Tasting Notes: Clean tart fruit characteristics, and the mouthwatering acidity will have you craving more. Meyer lemon, honeydew melon, mango, guava. Peach and apricot. White pepper, stone, mineral. Some sweet green herb like tarragon or chervil. A bit more robust than past vintages. More Friuli than Alto Adige. No oak, but a bit of sweet cream, lees on the finish.

Spring Release Wine Club Exclusive Wine:

2017 Syrah “Holy Roller”
$60 Retail – $51 MTA Wine Club

A few years back, during one of those times when winemakers are hanging out after a wine industry event, we said to our great friend Chris Figgins, “Hey, can we buy some Cabernet from you?” After giving me the well-rehearsed, you’re the 7 millionth person to ask me that, “yeah, no” look, he said “Well, I just purchased a vineyard in the Rocks, and it would be perfect for Syrah. Do you want me to plant a couple of acres?” A few years later, here we are, absolutely loving this new Syrah planting and are so pleased to be adding it to our vineyard profile.

The Holy Roller Vineyard sits at 970 feet elevation and gently slopes to the west. The Rocks vineyards are known for their cobblestone soil and this vineyard stands out among them as one with 100% stones. It’s the latest ripening Syrah vineyard in the Rocks we have worked with to date. We can already see it is a fantastic vineyard as the fruit is elegant with amazing freshness.

Tasting Notes: Screams Rocks. Floral, fauna, funk and Franklins. Red and blue fruit. Stone, granite, mineral, rose petal, violet, smoked meat, black pepper. Fresh and lively without losing the Rocks depth. An extremely elegant version of Rocks Syrah at 13.0% alcohol.


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Wine Club Information

Our Masters Tasting Association (MTA) wine club has a few spots available! If you’d like information about what being involved in the club entails or how to sign up, please visit our website by clicking on the link below or contact us!

MTA Wine Club

Questions? Contact us via phone at 509-876-2427 or email

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