2008s from Gramercy Cellars

Hello friends. The appetite for Gramercy Cellars wines is insatiable. Despite having already offered Greg Harrington’s wines here, here, here, and here, his wines are consistently among the most oft-requested from our list members.

And why not? In a short time, Greg has developed a clear house style and has established himself at the forefront of a reactionary movement here in Washington (reactionary against high alcohols, long hang times, and gobs of new wood). His winery has received steady praise, culminating in the October announcement that Food & Wine Magazine had named Gramercy Cellars their Best New Winery in their 2010 American Wine Awards. It’s difficult not to be seduced by the clarity of flavor and elegance of mouthfeel he consistently produces.

So today we present his current release of 2008s, which you will see have already been warmly received by just about every critic who has gotten near them.

2008 Gramercy Cellars Tempranillo “Inigo Montoya”

Greg’s third vintage working with the great grape of Rioja, and these wines just seem to keep getting better. This version is no-doubt-about-it Tempranillo, with its varietal aromas and flavors of tobacco leaf and black fruits. Much like in Rioja, Greg uses predominantly American oak (80%; the remainder French), which imparts dustings of cinnamon and vanilla bean. The texture, depth, and length are noteworthy, as are the medium-grained, green-tea-flavored tannins.

This includes Tempranillo from Les Collines and (for the first time) some estate vineyard fruit as well. It’s rounded out with 6% Les Collines Syrah and 4% Alder Ridge Mourvedre.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Jay Miller): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”

2008 Gramercy Cellars “The Third Man” (Grenache Blend)

In the past, this has just been called Grenache, but here the proportion (60%) is too low for that. The name comes from a mountain-climbing phenomenon, where pairs of climbers sometimes feel the presence of a third man who helps them in times of peril. Alder Ridge Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills is the source for the Grenache and Mourvedre, and even Greg can’t escape the Alder Ridge lushness. He has taken what the vineyard gives him here and crafted a delicious departure from the signature house style, with more richness than I have ever tasted from a Gramercy wine. Still, the 20% Syrah from Minnick Vineyard gives the wine an acid kick that will keep the geeks happy too.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Jay Miller): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”

Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: ** (Exceptional).”

2008 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Walla Walla Valley

Greg has built his reputation on Syrah, and so it comes as no surprise that this is already the most widely-decorated of the three wines. In 2008, this is mostly Les Collines Vineyard fruit, as its frequent partner in this bottling, Forgotten Hills Vineyard, suffered an early freeze and was subsequently declassified. There are a few barrels of estate vineyard fruit here also. As usual, this Syrah saw some whole-cluster fermentation and plenty of lees-stirring. And as usual, the results are dynamic: a savory, savage nose leads the way into a layered glass, with violets, green olives, black fruit, and rosemary competing for attention. Positively perfumed on the palate, this wine is a real live wire.

Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”

Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: ** (Exceptional).”

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Jay Miller): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”

Please limit order requests to ONE CASE (12 bottles) TOTAL. You can mix and match the wines as you see fit, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive within the next week, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping.

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