In 2005, we founded Gramercy Cellars to focus specifically on Walla Walla Syrah. In fact, we were only going to make one wine. The idea was to blend Les Collines and Forgotten Hills to create an iconic Walla Walla Syrah that showcased the best of the Valley.
Best laid plans. We quickly found many exciting areas of Washington to explore, develop and showcase. After developing outstanding Syrah blended from a variety of vineyards, we decided to change the focus of the Syrah program towards single-vineyard wines. But as we kept tasting our lots over the years, it was evident that there was still something we wanted to show in Walla Walla. Combining Syrah from the Rocks with fresher, more structured, higher elevation hillside fruit created a wine of elegance, power, and beauty. In 2016, we went back to the idea of a multi-vineyard Walla Walla Syrah.
The 2017 Walla Walla Syrah hails from Block 49 at Les Collines Vineyard. Wait - what's Block 49? Block 49 is a new block at Les Collines. For years we longingly gazed at a five-acre parcel across the dirt road from Block 46. It was exciting that it was at the same elevation as Block 46 and stretched a few hundred feet higher. Remember, Syrah loves a pretty view. A few years ago, when we heard from the vineyard manager that the Cabernet never achieved full ripeness in that block, we asked if they would replant it to Syrah. We were overjoyed when they agreed.
We blended the Les Collines Syrah with Holly Roller Vineyard in the Rocks District. Les Collines brings freshness and aromatics, and a bit of Holy Roller brings earth, pepper, and depth to the wine. We fermented the wine in a combination of concrete and small stainless-steel tanks with 90% whole cluster. #stemsrule. A portion of the Holy Roller Syrah was co-fermented with Viognier. It was then aged in a combination of neutral French puncheon and 225L barrels. It is perhaps one of the best Syrah values in Washington and beyond.
Tasting Notes: A dark and brooding wine on the nose, showing primary aromas of fresh blackberries, Italian plum, and Teriyaki beef jerky. Secondary aromatics of anise, tarragon, black pepper, violets, and seared lamb. The Walla Walla Syrah has an umami characteristic that quickly gives it a sense of
place. A mouth-coating palate, precise tannins, and a long finish with enough acidity to balance the overall weight of the wine. It starts with pure black fruit and reveals a gamey and peppery finish.
Whole Cluster: 90%
Aging: 17 months in 4% new French Oak Puncheons & Stockinger Foudre
Case Production: 931 Cases
Drinking Window: 2021 - 2033
Wine Enthusaist: 92 points
Wine Advocate: 92 points
International Wine Report: 93 points