David’s Pick: 2013 Gramercy Cellars Lower East Syrah, $30.00

This is the entry level Syrah for this Walla Walla winery founded in 2005 by Master Sommelier Greg Harrington and his wife Pam. In a previous life, Greg managed the wine programs for some of the top restaurants in New York. During a backyard tasting in Brooklyn hosted by the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, both he and his wife were impressed by the earthy character and balance they found, characteristics neither had come to expect from American wines. The seed was planted, and a spring visit to Walla Walla followed by Greg working the harvest that fall, sealed the deal. Today, Gramercy Cellars is dedicated to operating as a small winery focused on quality, integrity and sustainability. This 2013 is the first Syrah from the wineries entry level Lower East series. It definitely over delivers for the price point. There’s an earthy component to the herb laced blueberry and cherry aromas, while the spicy fruit flavors are plush and ripe, but not overripe. Impeccably balanced, you get a bit of smoked meat and green olive on the silky finish. A shockingly good and very approachable wine.