Thursday, January 08, 2009

Flamenco, Manchego and Gramercy Cellars Tempranillo

I have always been drawn to Spain’s noble grape, Tempranillo. Historically, Tempranillo is the dominant red grape used in Rioja and making it the most recognized wine in Spain. When asked about this grape, I have often referred to it as "Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon." But unlike most Cabs, Tempranillo can be enjoyed in its youth. Needless to say, I was also drawn to Gramercy Cellars Tempranillo - 2006 from the Walla Walla Valley.

Gramercy Cellars was founded in 2005 by Greg and Pam Harrington. At the age of 26, Greg was the youngest American to pass the Master Sommelier Exam. The Harrington’s were introduced to Walla Walla wines in 2004 and the rest - - as they say, "is history." It’s remarkable, and indeed a compliment to our valley, that of all of the wines that Greg has been introduced to during his "wine life-time," it was Walla Walla where the Harrington’s chose to plant their vines and personal roots.

One of the simple pleasures of life is sipping a Tempranillo on a late Friday afternoon, especially after a busy work week. Background guitar music of nouveau flamenco and nibbles of Manchego adds to my experience. And sometimes I take it further with a smokey sofrito, concentrated from the summer's garden, spread on crostini or I get ambitious and make a Spanish omelette. And no - - not the kind of a "Spanish" omelette you would find at your neighborhood Denny’s, but a true tortilla de patatas. And I found even sipping on a Tempranillo from the Walla Walla Valley, over 4,000 miles away from Spain, brings to me the same exotic experience that I envision at a Spanish taverna.

The fruit for this 2006 Tempranillo was harvested from the Les Collines Vineyard located near the foothills of the Blue Mountains. However, Gramercy Cellars will soon have their own Tempranillo from their new vines at their estate vineyards. The nose of this dark wine had what I refer to as "Autumn in Walla Walla." It is a distinguished nose of wet earth and dried fall colored leaves. Several times I found myself sticking my nose deep into the bowl of the glass taking in the familiar aroma.

The addition of 15% Syrah could be responsible for adding to the extra richness of this wine. Flavors of cherry and plum pies exploded in the mid-palate while leaving my mouth with a long finish of brown sugar and a creamy coating like caramel. And of course, I had a few nibbles of Manchego which added to the creamy mouth feel.

To sum it up and as the TV commercial says: "It's all about the O." In this case, unlike the commercial, it's Flamenc-o, Mancheg-o and Tempranill-o. One side of me, the mature lover of fine wine describes the above experience. However, the frivolous side of me could only describe this wine in two words - "Seriously yum-O!"

Yup, it's all about the "O."


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the great words! Please let me know if you would ever like to taste at the winery.

Greg Harrington
Gramercy Cellars

Anonymous said...

I tasted this wine at Saffron in Walla Walla and really loved it. I paired it with the Kobe Beef. It is a little spendy, but if you have $40 to spend on a bottle of wine this one is worth it.
-Amy Locati
Retail & wine Club Manager
Three Rivers Winery

wild walla walla wine woman said...

Hi Greg, You're very welcome. I will give you a call soon.

wild walla walla wine woman said...

Hey Amy!

Nice to hear from you and thanks for checking in about the wine. I agree with you. This is a bottle of wine that is worth $40.


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