Full Pull Lower East Encore

Hello friends. Our offer of high-end Gramercy Syrahs and Cabernets led to a number of inquiries about the remaining availability of their entry-tier bottlings. Those two Lower East wines have been among our most popular reorder targets of the past few months, so now seems like a good time to reoffer the pair.

Some quick reminders about the Lower East line: The wines are ghosts. You won’t find them in Gramercy’s tasting room. You will rarely find them sold outside the Pac-NW. Lower East is a gift, from Greg Harrington to his local supporters. Most goes to restaurants, a reflection of Greg’s sommelier history (direct from Gramercy’s tech sheet: “The Lower East wines from Gramercy Cellars are created specifically for our friends in the restaurant industry.”) It allows somms all over Seattle to place a Gramercy wine on their list for $55-$65, as opposed to the $100+ that the rest of the lineup commands. But some gets allocated to retail channels, and especially to long-term supporters of the Gramercy portfolio. Like us.

2013 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Lower East
Originally offered November 23, 2015. Excerpts from original offer: I first tasted this bottle with Brandon Moss (Gramercy’s Assistant Winemaker/Partner) back in April 2015 during a visit to Walla Walla, and I was smitten. I would have offered it right then and there, but it was to be a half-year before the ’13 Lower East would be released. The quality was stunning right up until I learned the vineyard sources, and then everything made sense. In 2013, Lower East comes from an all-star foursome, three from the Walla Walla Valley (Gramercy Estate, Old Stones, and Pepper Bridge), plus the outstanding Phinny Hill in Horse Heaven. The blend includes 6% each Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and the whole thing was raised entirely in French oak, 25% new, for 16 months. Listed alc is 14.2%.

What Lower East does beautifully, year in and year out, is to establish itself as a true four-corners Cab, with fruit (black cherry, cassis), earth, savory/herbal (beetroot, bouqet garni), and barrel (espresso) notes in fine balance. Can we add a fifth corner for this one? To cover the lovely violet floral notes? What we see with this vintage of Lower East is winemakers who strive for elegance in a year that wanted to be a little fleshier. The result: a balanced beauty, with a seamless, no-holes texture that offers an easy glide path from attack to finish. If you’re looking to build a cellar of sturdy, ageworthy wines under $30, Lower East is an awfully nice place to start. Like every vintage so far, it is polished, classy, and punches well above its price class.

2013 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Lower East
Originally offered January 8, 2016 (our first offer of the new year), and since then, it was mentioned in Sean Sullivan’s February Wines of the Month for Washington Wine Report, which will likely presage a strong score when his review is eventually published in Wine Enthusiast. Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[TEXT WITHHELD].”

Now then, excerpts from original offer: What makes this particular wine so exciting is that it’s the lowest-priced, most accessible Syrah I’ve ever seen from Gramercy. It’s a chance for those interested in Greg’s Syrahs to see what all the fuss is about, and it’s a chance for the Gramercy true believers to grab a wine that doesn’t need to be hoarded for special occasions. I guess another way to say it would be: in six years of offering Gramercy wines, the lowest-priced Syrah we’ve ever offered before today was [TEXT WITHHELD].

I tasted this late in 2015 and was immediately seduced. Smoky bacon, briny Castelvetrano olive, brackish umami nori, brambly marionberries: this offered the kind of aromatic complexity and savory character I associate with the upper tier of the Gramercy lineup. So then I followed up with Brandon Moss (Gramercy’s wonderful Partner/Assistant Winemaker), to figure out where all this good fruit was coming from.

The answer: “[TEXT WITHHELD].” There’s also a smidge of Gramercy’s Estate Vineyard in the mix, finishing off a quintet of seriously excellent Syrah sources. Greg’s tasting note captures the palate beautifully: [TEXT WITHHELD].

First come first served up to 48 bottles total, and the wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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