2017 Gramercy Cellers, “L’idiot du Village,” Mourvèdre, $48
Winery info: Gramercy Cellars was founded in 2005 by Master Sommelier-turned winemaker, Greg Harrington, who oversaw wine programs at some of the top restaurants in the country before moving to Walla Walla to make ”Old-World-meets-New” Bordeaux- and Rhône-inspired wines in Washington. He seeks to produce wines that “complement food, provide great pleasure, and stand out as uniquely made in Washington.”
Winemaker: Greg Harrington, with co-winemaker Brandon Moss
Grapes: 100% Mourvèdre, aged 18 months in neutral French puncheons and barrels.
Vineyard Source: 58% Alder Ridge, 42% Olsen vineyards.
Flavor profile: As the winemakers note, the fruit from Alder Ridge adds depth and structure, while that from Olsen is all about freshness and aromatics, resulting in a complex and intense Mourvèdre with a perfect balance of elegance and power. It is rich and earthy, with flavors of red fruit and savory notes of cured meat. Plus loads of exotic spice and a nice underlying freshness.
Availability: 321 cases made. There is still some of this vintage available.
Drinkability: Enjoy now through 2028.
Food Pairing: Our rep suggested roast pork, Chaumes cheese (a soft, washed-rind cheese from the Périgord region of France), or perhaps Szechuan cuisine.
2017 J.B. Neufeld, Yakima Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $36
Winery info: Justin Neufeld has been winemaker at Gilbert Cellars since 2007, and he took over management of their extensive vineyards in 2009. His J.B. Neufeld label is his side project, where he focuses exclusively on Cabernet Sauvignon from a number of Yakima Valley vineyards, aiming to showcase a unique sense of place in each of his wines. He has access to fruit from some of the top vineyards in the state. (We featured his Cab from Andrew Will’s estate Two Blondes Vineyard in February 2020.)
Winemaker: Justin Neufeld
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 22 months in 56% new and 44% neutral French oak.
Vineyards: 44% Artz, 38% Dineen, and 9% each Two Blondes and Red Willow vineyards, all in the Yakima Valley AVA.
Flavor profile: Fruit ripened well in the warm 2017 vintage, resulting in this expressive and elegant Cab, with ripe red fruit, a nice touch of baking spice, and well-integrated oak notes. It is medium bodied and savory with great breadth and balanced tannins.
Availability: 540 cases produced. This wine is in good supply right now.
Drinkability: Justin suggests opening the bottle, pouring a small glass, then letting it sit until the next day to fully open up. Enjoy through 2024.
Food Pairing: This wine would pair well with roast beef or hearty fall fare.