Usually, when I write the Fall newsletter, I’m totally stressed about harvest. This year, however – calm, cool, and collected. No, I haven’t been using a meditation or mindfulness app though I probably should. Harvest is late this year – as in really late, reminding us of 2010 or 2011. Veraison, when a grape turns green to red, provides an excellent estimate of the harvest date. Usually, when the bunch is fully colored red, we harvest approximately 30 days later. Most years, we pick Red Willow Syrah right around Labor Day. When Brandon was there on August 30th, many of the clusters were still green. It’s going to be a while…but it’s going to be great.
This release features wines from both the 2018 and 2019 vintages. We have written extensively on the greatness of 2018. Dr. Owen Bargreen at Decanter magazine said this of the 2018 vintage, “Many Washington State winemakers consider 2018 to be one of the most captivating vintages in the past two decades — if not the best. The top 2018 red wine bottlings display remarkable poise, texture, flavour density and richness which span all Washington State AVAs.” Our fall MTA release includes two wines from the 2018 vintage.
From the Horse Heaven Hills, we have our second Cabernet Sauvignon MTA wine from Phinny Hill. An absolutely incredible 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that shows the greatness of both the Horse Heaven Hills and the magical farming abilities of the Beightol Family. I feel this is one of the top three Cabernets made at Gramercy since 2005. You’ll have to visit to hear my other two choices.
Josh Raynolds at Vinous parroted similar praise for the Willamette Valley in 2018, rating it 94 points; one of the state’s highest vintage ratings ever. From the 2018 vintage, we introduce a new single vineyard Pinot Noir MTA bottling from Sojeau Vineyard. While past releases focused on the Ribbon Ridge AVA, we have moved to the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. It’s an emerging hipster neighborhood, more Williamsburg than Upper West Side. All the cool winemakers are moving to the area. The freshness, intensity, and aromatic complexity of this wine is remarkable. We look forward to a long relationship with the Peseau family at Sojeau Vineyard.
Next, we move to the 2019 vintage, which is very different from 2018, but still considered an excellent vintage. Again, many think the duo of 2018-2019 are our best vintages ever in Washington. While 2018 displays power, 2019 is more about freshness and aromatics, with red fruits and deep earthy flavors. It was slightly tricky as the vintage was delayed by cooler than average weather in September and ended due to frost in mid-October, but we love vintages like that.
The 2019 vintage is a paradise vintage for the restrained style of Gramercy. The 2019 Les Collines Syrah is classic Syrah goodness – pepper, smoked meat, red and blue fruit. I remark in the tasting notes that it will give the John Lewis Reserve Syrah (winter release) a run for its money. The 2019 Gramercy “Estates” wine is somehow even better than 2018. In 2019, we added a friend to the Estates party – 15% Cabernet Franc. And lastly, the 2019 Mourvèdre L’Idiot du Village. When I wrote the tasting notes, I had five bottles of wine open. I finished the 2019 Mourvèdre that night. Drained like a Steph Curry 3-pointer. It’s a stunning example of Mourvèdre, which, after a few drinks, I usually comment that it’s Washington’s best variety, most suited to our climate and terroir.
And there you have it. A set of releases that everyone at Gramercy is honored to show. As always, we are so grateful for your support. We love making wine and look forward to you having these wines with friends and family. We would also love to see you at the winery or an event soon!
2019 Syrah “Les Collines”
$63 Retail – $53.35 MTA Wine Club
“Since 2005, Gramercy has hung its hat on making higher-acid, lower-alcohol, food-friendly wines. Hats off to this one. Coming from one of the state’s top Syrah sites, the aromas aren’t fully ready to reveal themselves initially, with notes of dark raspberry, herb and peppery spice. A full-flavored palate follows, brightened by plentiful acidity. It’s the sophistication and detail to the flavors that truly deliver the goods. There’s acid, intensity, mouthfeel and balance. Decant and pair it with grilled lamb.” – 93 Pts, Wine Enthusiast
Extremely limited – this wine will sell out to the wine club.
2019 Mourvèdre “L’Idiot du Village”
$44 Retail – $37.40 MTA Wine Club
“Gramercy Cellars has gained a national reputation for their outstanding Mourvèdre bottling, the L’Idiot du Village. The 2019 edition is entirely translucent in color, revealing bright red fruit aromatics that explode out of the glass. The silky mouthfeel and beautiful finesse really drive this bottling, which is already nicely evolved.” – 93 Pts, Vinous
2019 Gramercy Estates
$72 Retail – $61.20 MTA Wine Club
“Hello, that’s Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon. Sweet red fruit, cola, black cherry, green herbs. Dark chocolate. A touch of oak. On the palate, dusty like the old Napa Cabs from Rutherford. Medium plus acid with firm tannins. Smoke, tar, gravel, and cedar. Tobacco leaf. Incredible length and complexity. This bottle disappeared the night I wrote the tasting notes. “ – Greg
Fall Release Wine Club Exclusive Wine:
2018 Pinot Noir “Sojeau Vineyard” MTA
$60 Retail – $51 MTA Wine Club
Sojeau Vineyard, known to the best winemakers in the Willamette Valley, is an elite Pinot Noir site. We are incredibly thankful for this fruit. Located at the southern end of the Eola-Amity Hills, the vineyard sits at 650 feet, composed of pebbles and volcanic clay. We love this cool site for its explosive aromatics, racy acidity, and firm tannins. Expressive red and black fruits, red licorice, rose petals, orange peel, & green herbs. – Greg
2018 Cabernet Sauvignon “Phinny Hill Vineyard” MTA
$65 Retail – $55.25 MTA Wine Club
We highly encourage you to read this full tasting note via the link above.
In 2022, we lost our friend and Phinny Hill founder, Dick Beightol. It is because of Dick we make Cabernet Sauvignon. The incredible 2018 Phinny Hill Cabernet Sauvignon is in memory of this great man.
There’s a reason we love Phinny Hill so much. It’s Cabernet for Pinot Noir lovers. Very serious but elegant and graceful. Red currant, black cherry, red flowers. Aromatics jump from the glass. Tannin leads on the palate. Concentrated, but again, elegance is the word to describe it. Length is never ending; easily 3 minutes. The Beightol family makes magic in the vineyard. Pure and simple. – Greg
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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!
Questions? Contact us via phone at 509-876-2427 or email email@example.com.