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2007 Gramercy Cellars "Lagniappe" Columbia Valley Syrah

SKU #1060064 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The purple-colored 2007 Syrah Lagniappe contains 5% Viognier with the fruit sourced from Forgotten Hills and Minick Vineyards. Very expressive from the aromatic lift provided by the Viognier, it is a bit more elegant and forward than the Walla Walla cuvee. This spicy, savory, intense effort can be enjoyed now but will drink well for a decade. Gramercy Cellars was started by Master Sommelier Greg Harrington in 2005. He states, “My goal is to make wines the kind I like to drink, lower alcohol, higher acid, wines that taste like they came from some place.” His last set of releases, reviewed in Issue 177, was first-class but the latest collection is eye-opening. My advice: get on Gramercy’s mailing list while you still can.  (10/2009)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good bright ruby-red. Sexy black raspberry and smoked meat aromas are lifted by pepper and fresh herbs. The palate offers a fresh, sappy core of dark berry and spice flavors, with good supporting acid spine providing lift. Finishes with rather suave tannins and a distinctly northern Rhone syrah perfume.  (12/2009)

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Price: $44.99
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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.9