Full Pull The Devil You Don’t Know

Hello friends. Chris Gorman recently dropped by the warehouse and poured wines from across his three different labels (Gorman, Ashan, Devil/Scratch). What emerged clearly from the tasting: our recent multi-year string of warm vintages in Washington has played perfectly into the Gorman house style. Chris was put on earth for vintages like these.

As a reminder, Chris launched his eponymous winery in 2002 after working in the wine trade for more than 10 years (on the import and distribution side). His aforementioned house style is a hedonist’s dream: ultra-ripe fruit, heady levels of alcohol, and luxurious oak treatment. Gorman’s wines are unapologetic givers of pleasure.

Today we’ll focus on The Devil You Don’t Know, because we were offered a terrific price on that one. Bonus wines will include a new Chardonnay and a rarely (never?)-seen-at-retail Boushey Vineyard Syrah.

2013 Gorman Winery The Devil You Don”t Know
Chris inaugurated the Devil You Know/Devil You Don’t Know wines a few years ago as a way to introduce folks to the Gorman style at more accessible price points. Both wines typically retail at $28-$30. The Devil favors Bordeaux varieties; the DDK Rhone varieties.

This year’s DDK could be labeled as Syrah, with that variety making up 85% of the blend. The remainder is 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Grenache, and 1% Mourvedre. It was aged for 16 months in a combination of new and used American oak, and it clocks in at 15% listed alc. The nose is a beautiful dark brooder, with blackberry fruit complemented by threads of smoky charcoal, violet, and dark soil notes. In the mouth, this is thick, rich, and robustly tannic for Syrah. Much of the Syrah material comes from Klipsun Vineyard on Red Mountain, and that site can’t help lending its burly tannic structure to any red it touches. The fruit is super dark, extremely intense, and well balanced by gravelly minerals. The whole thing drank very much like baby Pixie (Gorman’s flagship Syrah under his main label; $45). It’s very true to Chris Gorman, very true to Red Mountain, and at a price lower than we’ve ever been able to offer.

2015 Gorman Winery Chardonnay Old Scratch
Chris already has a Chardonnay (Big Sissy) under his main label and four (!) Chards under his Ashan Cellars label. But the man can’t help himself, and so here we have his sixth Chardonnay, this one a well-priced blend of fruit from Lonesome Spring and Boushey Vineyards. This gets the luxury treatment that belies its price: all wild yeast; all barrel-fermented. It offers up a nose of nectarine and crème fraiche, toasted croissant and smoke. It’s a Chardonnay that smells like it’s going to be luxurious, and the palate follows through, a plush, supple, intense mouthful of creamy, leesy stone fruits and spices. Those of you who liked last year’s 2014 Barrel Fermented Chard under the Ashan label should pay close attention here; there are real similarities in style and in quality.

2013 Gorman Winery Syrah Sleeping Giant Boushey Vineyard
Only 100 cases produced of Chris’ interpretation of Bouushey Syrah (Birdhouse block), and to the best of my knowledge, this has never been offered at retail, so it’s a nice little treat for our list members. This almost drinks like opulent Aussie Shiraz (think Mollydooker Blue-Eyed Boy), with truly unctuous texture. It’s not a particularly funky rendition of Boushey, but it is smoky and palate-coating, a massive, opulent glass-stainer with structure and intensity to spare. Openly delicious, and not for the faint of palate.

First come first served up to 36 bottles total (mix and match as you like), 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.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: