Gramercy Cellars Syrah Lagniappe
FROM WINERY – Tasting Notes: Combination of red and blue fruit. Meaty with pepper, mushroom, umami, smoke. Red and purple flowers. Fresh with strong acidity and
tannins. Intense and aromatic. A bit backward that will require some time in
bottle to reverse. Truly world class Red Willow Syrah.
Blend: 100% Syrah
Vineyard: Red Willow
ging: 17 months in Neutral French
Oak Puncheons & Stockinger Foudre
Winery – Drinking Window: 2022 – 2040
*Otherwise decant for 2 hours
The release of the 2016 Lagniappe is a historic release for Gramercy. We first
made Lagniappe in 2005 with the intent of blending Syrah from the Yakima Valley
with Syrah from Walla Walla, primarily Forgotten Hills. But a chance meeting with
Mike Sauer of Red Willow Vineyard in 2010 changed the trajectory of the wine.
Mike was on a wine panel with me, Greg, and offered an acre of Syrah. We were
immediately smitten. We now farm about 5 acres at Red Willow. The coming
years saw increased percentages of Red Willow in the Lagniappe blend, but
we still considered ourselves a “blending house.” However, after the 2014 and
2015 vintages, we realized that we had a few vineyards that demanded a single
vineyard bottling. For the first time, we present the 2016 Red Willow Lagniappe
Columbia Valley Syrah.
We farm a few different blocks at Red Willow for Syrah. The basis for the wine
always is the ‘Chapel Block”. While we are not on the “true” Chapel slope, we
are the same slope, around the corner with a slightly cooler exposure. This block
is magic – bringing deep red fruit, smoke, earth pepper, and most importantly,
structure and intensity. The Marcoux block, across the property with a more
gentle slope, complements the steeper block by adding mid palate and aromatic
complexity. These are yin-yang blocks, each making the wine better.
All Red Willow blocks are fermented predominately in our concrete fermenters.
When we say concrete, we don’t mean eggs. Those are for Easter or omelets. We
mean 1500-gallon solid rectangular masses of mineral intensity. Concrete adds
another dimension of minerality and aromatic complexity, which is readily apparent in the wine. The 2016 Red Willow was fermented 80% whole cluster with
native yeasts. It was aged in a combination of 16HL Stockinger cask and neutral
500-liter puncheons for 18 months.