The 12 Wines of Christmas: #6 Gramercy Cellars 2008 Syrah

I love Walla Walla wines…a lot. The region has so much untapped potential for ageability of wines as covered in this blog post about the affordability and ageability of Walla Walla wines.

An exciting newcomer to the region is Master Sommelier, Greg Harrington who uprooted his family from New York in 2004 and moved cross country to start Gramercy Cellars. After overseeing prestigious wine programs around the U.S., inspiration struck him during a backyard BBQ hosted by the Washinton Wine Alliance at his home in Brooklyn. He had one of those lightbulb over the head moments like in the cartoons, and the rest is history. Part of the motivation for starting the winery was the untimely passing of friend, Michael Bonaccorsi MS as well as Greg’s father in-law, John Lewis Palmer.

First off, the labels are cool. Second of all, the wines express a sense of place with impeccable balance and limited new oak influence. The 2008 Syrah (if memory serves) was only about 13.8% ALC. Les Collines vineyard fruit provides the personality for a Syrah that’s almost more Northern Rhone than domestic in the glass.

Wine & Spirits magazine describes this wine best:
“A great interplay between fruit and spice, this Syrah’s scents range from leather and black pepper to anise, ginger and nutmeg. The black fig and plum flavors are dark and concentrated, the finish lasting on savory spice–cinnamon, mint and plum skin. Like other Gramercy wines tasted for this issue, this feels youthful, needing time in the cellar to fill out.” (02/11) This wine shows massive smoke, pepper, and the entire charcuterie catalog of Salumi in Seattle, black olive, licorice flavors and elegant black fruits. It balances acidity with intense richness and a touch of vanilla spice.”

Whatever you taste when you get in the glass may or may not taste like those notes, but this wine will warm the soul on a cold winter day which is why it’s #6 on the 12 Wines of Christmas list.

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