I think by now its safe to exclaim that Washington State produces some of the finest wines in North America. Last night while meandering through a list of random house chores I scampered down stairs to ye ole wine cooler to fetch a bottle of something shiny and delicious. A recent addition to the mix, Gregg Harrington’s Gramercy Cellars, Walla Walla Syrah made it back up the stairs and into the decanter. What a thrill.
If you are like me and have grown tired of all the overblown, super manipulated flesh- blanket style Syrah that have dominated the marketplace, Id recommend you working your way through the Syrah pack of Washington state. Not to say that every one out there is an iconic singular expression but more often than not, for whatever reason, this varietal shows its slender lanky side with a measure of finesse and elegance when born of Washington soils. This “lift” and brightened framing so to speak is for me a component that seems to be necessary to really unveil all that exotic floral and spice components that Syrah really does have.
So often, Syrah from Paso or any number of California AVA’s ends up buried in layers of overly toasted oak, syrupy elixir like jammyness or worse yet, tarry, black medicinal fruit that just manhandles the womanly core. It goes without saying,…this is an ill-fated but all to common story. So, whether from this perception or as a raw back lashing effect (what ive been affectionately referring to as the Australian slingshot) . Syrah has had a really bad rap for the past many years. I want you all to rediscover this grape and do it right so,...here is a start.
Gramercy Cellars, Syrah, Walla Walla, Washington 9/10
Closed at first, though I store my reds a bit colder than most. Beautiful texture with intense fruit presence on the attack that bounded and expanded throughout the mid-palate and finish.( especially as it warmed) Notable freshness with vibrant acidity that arrives early in the palate ultimately giving way to the wines spicy core that remind me of what the juice inside a suede canteen might smell and or taste like if it were stuffed with over ripe huckleberries and then slung over the shoulder of a dream-like Athenian goddess as she rode bareback through meadows of clover and spring iris. Firm and sincere, the frame was relentless and while its length and symmetry were admirable, this was too a sniffer paradise ( again, especially after 2 hours). Reminded me of that rare Crozes Hermitage nose you sometimes get Think: Gilles Robin where after a good whip in the glass, you approach the glass high off the rim and this wafting focused purity of tiny weenie purple fruits sing for just a split second then retreat back to the heavens. go find some of this! Props to Greg and his crew! www.gramercycellars.com