2011 Gramercy Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1171744 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 2011 the alcohol drops a bit and the fruit comes forward, stepping slightly away from the strongly herbal flavors of the 2010. It’s reflective of the vintage, and perhaps more immediately approachable, without sacrificing any of the complexity or structure that typifies Gramercy wines. Strongly aromatic flavors of blackberry, black cherry, cola and licorice are all in play, backed with refreshing minerality. The wine should age beautifully for a decade or more. *Cellar Selection* (PG)  (3/2014)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Syrah Walla Walla offers pretty red and black fruits, peat, loamy earth, ground pepper and plenty of herbal notes to go with a medium-bodied, rounded and beautifully textured feel on the palate. Overall supple and yet nicely focused and pure, it has solid mid-palate depth and building, fine tannin on the finish. It’s a beautiful effort in a difficult vintage and will have 10 to 12 years of prime drinking. Master Sommelier turned winemaker, Greg Harrington is fashioning some of the top wines in Washington from his base in Walla Walla. His 2011s showed beautifully from barrel last year, and didn’t disappoint this year from bottle. (JD) 92+  (6/2014)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Starts off quietly, but by the finish this is flashing ripe plum and rhubarb flavors, shaded by hints of green tea and floral overtones. Persists, displaying intensity and finesse. Drink now through 2019. (HS)  (3/2015)

90 points Vinous

 Bright, deep medium red. Red raspberry, pepper and spices on the lively nose. A juicy, firmly built midweight with red berry and leather flavors complicated by a saline element. Finishes with serious building tannins and excellent length. This tightly wound syrah is carrying a moderate 13.1% alcohol. Owner/winemaker Greg Harrington noted that he did not pick any fruit in 2011 until October 15. (ST) 90+  (11/2013)

Wine & Spirits

 The 2011 appellation wine from Gramercy is 100 percent Les Collines, which rendered an austere version in such a cool vintage. Scents of dark berries have a zinc-like edge, while the flavors are subtle and compelling, if a bit austere at the moment. This needs a year in the cellar to mature.  (2/2014)

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Price: $44.99
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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- 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.