Gramercy Cellars 2007 Inigo Montoya tempranillo

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on February 5, 2010:

A pathetic sign of our times…an NYC 4th-grader was sent home for bringing a two-inch plastic toy machine gun and put it in the hands of a plastic police officer while playing Legos with a friend in the school’s cafeteria. Guess it was unrealistic; after all, those types of guns are normally found in the hands of plastic drug dealers. A 71 year-old Edmonds man pleaded guilty to assaulting (read: grabbing wrist and pushing) two backwater LaRouche supporters who had a poster of Obama-as-Hitler. The man, an Armenian immigrant who lost family to the Nazis, stated “I think I did the right thing…” No, I have to disagree, sir. You should have dragged the knuckleheads into a train car nearby. That, would be doing the right thing, in my book. And, the oddest news of all…the Mariners have agreed to terms with $1.5 mil-a-win-in-2009 pitcher Erik Bedard. If he wins just two games the whole season, the M’s think they got a deal. This is a guy coming back from torn-labrum surgery…basically a career-ender unless your name is Curt Schilling. Taking bets he won’t win more than two games and will be done by the All-Star break! Thankfully, the M’s won’t depend on him and will get to the Series regardless.

I’ve juggled (careful…new word here) conflictions about this winery and spending good money on their pricey wines.

Gramercy was founded in 2005 by Greg and Pam Harrington, who were living in New York when, in 2004, the Walla Walla Wine Alliance hosted a backyard picnic and the wines had a profound effect on them. Greg owns a “master” certification but in what, I will not mention here as I don’t want any heads to swell more it already is.
Gramercy’s wines have attained critical acclaim, both locally and nationally, as he makes wines he likes to drink—lower alcohol, higher acid, leashed oak and with a sense of place. Gramercy, according to the label, is “a term used to express surprise and gratitude.” Gramercy, according to Wikipedia, is “derived from the Dutch “Krom Mesje”, meaning ‘little crooked knife’.” Gramercy is also a Manhattan neighborhood centered around Gramercy Park.

Inigo Montoya was the character played by Mandy Patinkin in the movie, “The Princess Bride.” Inigo was a Spanish ‘wizard’ fencer who sought revenge for the death of his father. The movie is highly recommended. What this has to do with the wine…go figure, other than the movie reference, of which may have copyright issues of its own.
Gramercy’s 2006 tempranillo was its first and was an ‘accidental’ outcome after being initially considered for vinification as a rose wine. This version contains 15% grenache and 10% syrah. The 2008 version will contain mourvedre.

Most perplexing is the winemaker’s untethered opinions. Most of the winemakers I have encountered are rather diplomatic and genteel in their approach to be viewed by the public. Not Greg. “…these days, 89s are totally irrelevant.” “It is financially unfeasible for a writer to purchase each and every bottle. And frankly it is unnecessary.” “I routinely send samples to bloggers…” (Really? Anyone out there got a freebie and blogged about it?) And, oddest of all, “Distributors/reps – if a winery sends you $500 of samples for consideration, please have the decency to at least email if you are not interested. Amazingly rude and frustrating.” The only more head-scratching maneuver was the deletion of my comments from Paul Gregutt’s blog site. I mentioned that if they were friends, then go and tell Greg to “cut his rants because he is killing his brand-reputation.”

Color: deep cardinal to black. Nose: soft sweet oak, black cherry, plum, raspberry. Mouthfeel: soapwater soft. Tail trail: 4 seconds. Flavors: gentle notes of cherry, raspberry, strawberry licorice, spice kiss on the tail. The grenache is in the way.

Music pairing: Eydie Gorme’s “Blame It On The Bossa Nova.” (imho, choose the “Amazon Women on the Moon” version with singing and dancing by David Alan Grier (as Don “No Soul” Simmons -song starts at 3:37-). It’s effin’ hilarious!)

Walla Walla Valley AVA. Alcohol: 13.9%. 330 cases. Rated: 89. Value: $22. Paid: $39. As a final note, “bottled by Greg & Pam Harrington Wines.” This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

And btw, the music pairing is from perhaps, the best and most memorable movie of the late ’80s. That should tell you…have a thought, a good laugh, then get back to the wine.

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