TN: 2009 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Walla Walla Valley

  • 2009 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Walla Walla Valley - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley (11/6/2016)
    Decanted 2 hrs. Nice nose, inviting, some good floral and spice characteristics, a little dark fruit and subtle suggestion of horseradish root. Solid palate, shows a distinct flavor of vanilla bean, not so much the impression from new oak, it’s not quite as sweet (or cloying for that matter). I had an identical experience with the 07 Cayuse on En Chamberlin that was drunk at the same age. So perhaps this is a trademark of WW Syrah from a warm vintage with a few years of age? I know Gramercy goes about very sensibly in its approach to new wood, at any event, it was plenty tasty. I’d say it’s as mature as you need it to be, though should hold 3 to 5 years ahead. (90 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker


Thanks for the notes. Vanilla bean is such a distinct note and can certainly be oak derived. Question - did that note last throughout the tasting? Curious for I’ve often found ‘oaky’ notes on initial tastes of Syrah only to truly subside after an hour or two.


There was another thread here that mentioned this note in a Washington Syrah, and that during a certain phase in evolution it appears, and that it is not oak derived. I think it may have even mentioned Greg. I can’t place the thread at the moment. I would pretty much guarantee it is not oak derived in a Greg Harrington Syrah.

Larry, It stayed throughout the duration, I pretty much polished off the entire bottle watching UW kick the snot out of AZ, so I had plenty of time to watch it evolve.

John, interesting, let me know if you can find that other thread - id be curious to read it. I totally agree about the last thing you are ever going to taste in a Gramercy wine is excessive wood. Going back to the 07 Cayuse - I remember having it within 6 mos of release, and it was 100% typical Cayse (funk - smoke - blackberry - olive etc) not a hint vanilla. Clearly this could be a real thing that occurs with bottle age. The Gramercy was a one and only (a gift) but I have one last bottle of the 07 En Chamberlin. I plan on holding it for a few more years and it will be interesting to see if this trait manifests itself with additional age.

Here it is–

Thanks John. Wow that is not a connection I would have ever made on my own, that is when a wine shuts down in adolescence, if whole cluster stems are used, that can impart a vanilla flavor to the wine. I trust Greg knows what he is talking so I’ll roll with it.

As anyone else experiencing this phenomena?

Just to clarify, though, Greg didn’t specifically mention vanilla. It was more cinnamon/american oak (does he mean dill?), but you still get the idea.