Washington Wine Club – December 2021

2014 Gramercy Cellars, “Inigo Montoya” Tempranillo, $44

Winery Info: Gramercy 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 Bordeaux- and Rhône-inspired wines in Washington.    

We have loved the Gramercy Tempranillos over the years but sadly, this will be one of their last offerings, as they have replaced their Tempranillo plantings with Cabernet Franc. (2016 will be the final vintage.)

Winemaker: Greg Harrington, with assistant winemaker Brandon Moss.

Grapes: 75% Tempranillo, 15% Syrah, 5% Grenache, and 5% Carignan, aged 18 months in 15% new French and American oak barrels.

Vineyard:­ Gramercy Estate and Les Collines vineyards.

Flavor Profile: Very smooth, deep, and savory, with flavors of red fruit, dried herbs, a touch of smoked meat, and an inviting, stony minerality. It continues to open up and evolve for hours (even days!) and the finish is long and lingering.

Availability: 810 cases produced. There is not a lot left of this vintage.

Drinking Window: Enjoy now or over the next three to five years.

Food Pairing: Great for Spanish-style fare, like paella or tapas, spicy pulled pork, or grilled meats.

2019 The Walls Vineyards, “Stanley Groovy,” Red Wine, $37

Winery Info: This winery was created by former technology executive Mike Martin. It gets its name from the nearby Washington State Penitentiary, one of Walla Walla’s less talked about landmarks and referred to, by the inmates, as “The Walls.” The consulting winemaker, Todd Alexander, is no stranger to our shop, or to our wine clubs. He began his winemaking career in Napa, at Cade, Plumpjack, and Bryant Family Vineyard before relocating to Walla Walla to craft wines at Force Majeure. His work at The Walls allows Todd to work with fruit from a variety of Pacific Northwest AVAs.

Winemaker: Todd Alexander

Grapes: 28% Touriga Nacional, 18% Syrah, 15% Souzão, 11% Tinta Cão, 8% Merlot, 7% Mourvèdre, 6% Counoise, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Tempranillo. Aged in 20% new French oak large format vessels.

Vineyards: Sourced from vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA. This is one of the warmest growing regions in the state, but the great diurnal temperature variation allows the fruit to develop sugars during the day’s heat and balancing acidity during the cool nights. While it may be better known for its Bordeaux and Rhône grapes, Spanish and Portuguese grapes also thrive here.

Flavor Profile: Our first thought on this wine was: what a wacky blend! But it really works! It is medium bodied, smooth textured, and has amazing structure. With juicy red and black fruit flavors, notes of savory pepper, and soft, supple tannins, it’s a fun, tasty, and yes, Groovy, blend!

Availability: 1,238 cases produced. This vintage is still in good supply.

Drinking Window: We suggest holding it for a few years then enjoying anytime from 2026 to 2030.

Food Pairing: This food-friendly blend would be great with Italian sausage pizza or hearty pasta dishes.