As a Master Sommelier Greg Harrington has tried his fair share of Syrah wines from around the world. It was the terroir of Walla Walla and the special character of Washington Syrah that convinced him to make his own Syrah wines though. What is it about Walla Walla that makes it so special, and how does Washington Syrah compare to the rest of the world? In this video interview from his winery Gramercy Cellars, we ask Greg about Washington as a wine region and the profile of its Syrah – as well as his favourite food pairings.
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Clip excerpt for the hearing impaired:
Greg Harrington: What we have here in Walla Walla, it is really New World fruit with Old World earthiness. And it is one of the few regions in the world that I have ever found, having been a sommelier and tasting wines from all over the world for the past 15 to 18 years, I think it is special because you can have red fruit and black fruit and wines being primarily fruity in their youth, but then as they age they develop this really Old World complexity, with things like Syrah you get the black pepper, you get leather and smoke. And I think for me that’s really the special part: one foot from the Old World and one foot from the New World.
Amanda Barnes: And if you were to compare it to Old World Syrah, the Rhone would be the classic comparison, how would you say it is different?
Greg Harrington: I think a lot of people like to do comparisons, and obviously we are not the Rhone, but aromatically I would say that we do share some of the same similarities as the Rhone. Where it is really different is probably structure. The Rhone wines tend to be more tannic, they tend to be a bit more acid-driven and I think that our wines a lot of times are easier to drink young, but we may not have the longevity that the best Rhone wines do.