This month in the club we feature a top Washington wine in addition to what we consider to be the best rose in the world. We are also experimenting with a new format for club write-ups this month to help us keep on top of them. We welcome your feedback.
2012 Gramercy Cellars, The Deuce Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $60
Winery info: Founded in 2005, in Walla Walla.
Winemaker: Master Sommelier Greg Harrington, who has worked at some of the top restaurants in the country before coming to Washington.
Grapes: 100% Syrah, 80% whole cluster pressed and aged 18 months in large neutral barrels.
Vineyard source: Les Collines and SJR Vineyards, in the new “Rocks Region” of the Walla Walla Valley AVA. Highest vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley (1,380 feet) and source of many of the best northern Rhone style wines made in Washington.
Flavor profile: Violet and floral aromas, with complex, dense flavors of peppery dark fruit. World class Syrah, on the same level as Betz and Dunham.
Availability: Very limited, like almost all Gramercy wines.
Drinkability: Delicious now, but could develop for another five to seven years.
Food Pairing: Smoked meats, particularly pork.
2014 Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rose, $39.75
Winery info: Farmed since 1834, near Le Plan du Castellet, just outside the famous Mediterranean port village of Bandol in Provence.
Winemaker: Tempier rose to prominence through the work of Lucien Peyraud, who married into the Tempier family in 1936. Lucien made Bandol famous and brought the grape Mourvedre into world-wide prominence. Although Lucien passed away in 1996, the wines are made by the young and talented Daniel Ravier.
Grapes: 55% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, 20% Cinsault. Half is made by direct pressing, the other half using the saignee method of bleeding off the color.
Vineyard source: Tempier’s estate vineyard of 13.5 hectares, clay and limestone soils. Made from selected parcels, averaging 20 years of age.
Flavor profile: A beautiful blend of floral, citrus and mineral aromas, with silky flavors of red berries and stone fruits, plus hints of herbs and spices.
Availability: Always very limited in Seattle, but we do have some extra.
Drinkability: Tasty now, but magnificent in two or three years.
Food Pairing: The classic match for roast chicken.