2017 Gård Vintners Thunderstone Syrah, Lawrence Estate Wines
93 points ~ Dr. Owen Bargreen, Washington Wine Blog 91 points ~ Wine Enthusiast 91 points ~ Vinous, Stephen Tanzer
Savory black fruit, tobacco, leafy green herbs and a meaty undertone. Swirling gives this a mouthwatering umami quality to the muddled black fruits. Round and ethereal with a weightless quality. It’s pithy and persistent with a tapenade-inflected finish.
Made from a 0.8 acre section of our Scarline Syrah block planted with Joseph Phelps Clone. Fermented with 80% whole clusters and aged initially in standard Burgundy sized barrels (228L). After 10 months the wine was blended and then transferred into 500L barrels to slow the wine down and hold onto more primary fruit. The wine is typically stirred for the last 6 months and is bottled unfined and unfiltered. This wine is produced Vegan.
Varietal Composition: 100% Syrah
Appellation: Royal Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington
Vineyard: Scarline Vineyard, Lawrence Vineyards
Aging: 22 months in 30% new French oak 228L and 500L’s
Cases Produced: 208
2017 Gård Vintners Vaucluse Red Blend, Lawrence Estate Wines
92 points ~ Dr. Owen Bargreen, Washington Wine Blog 92 points ~ Jeb Dunnuck 91 points ~ Vinous, Stephen Tanzer 91 points ~ Wine Enthusiast 91 points ~ Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
Garrigue, plum skin, black tea, savory and black olive create a dark and intensely perfumed nose. Swirling brings up sweet black fruits like plums, currants, black cherry and a reduced blackberry puree. The palate starts with breadth and polish and transitions into dark fruits and hardwood smoke and spice. The wine finishes with fine but serious tannin, dehydrated black fruits and tea notes. Somehow staying perfumed while being brooding and intense.
Made from three different picks of Syrah between October 9 and 13 and from two different clones with Tablas Creek making up 50% of the blend and Joseph Phelps making up the other 25%. Each piece being fermented separately and then being blended after 10 months. Fermented in 95% stainless steel and 5% concrete with 12.5% whole cluster and then aged in 75% new French oak 500L’s for 22 months. This was bottled unfined and unfiltered. This wine is produced Vegan.
Varietal: Rhone style blend
Varietal Composition: 75% Syrah, 25% Grenache
Appellation: Royal Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington
Vineyard: Lawrence Vineyards
Aging: 22 months in 75% new French oak 500L’s
Cases Produced: 238
2x 2017 Gård Vintners Thunderstone Syrah, Lawrence Estate Wines
2x 2017 Gård Vintners Vaucluse Red Blend, Lawrence Estate Wines
6x 2017 Gård Vintners Thunderstone Syrah, Lawrence Estate Wines
6x 2017 Gård Vintners Vaucluse Red Blend, Lawrence Estate Wines
Gård, meaning “farm” in many of the Scandinavian languages, is a tribute to our family’s Scandinavian heritage and farming tradition.
Our mission at Gård is to capture and bottle the unique characteristics of the land we farm. We humbly craft value-driven, award-winning wines from our sustainable estate vineyards to create lasting memories for our customers. Gård Vintners is dedicated to crafting world-class wines from its sustainably farmed estate vineyard on the Royal Slope of Washington’s Columbia Valley AVA. We produce 6,000 cases a year for our wine club, three tasting rooms and select distribution in the northwest and across the country.
Founded in 2006, Gård Vintners is a family-owned and operated estate winery in the heart of Washington’s Columbia Valley AVA, with vineyards on the Royal Slope, wine production in Walla Walla, and tasting rooms in Woodinville, Walla Walla, and Ellensburg.
The winery was founded by Josh and Lisa Lawrence, along with Josh’s dad John Lawrence and Uncle Sandy Lawrence, who had farmed the Royal Slope for more than 40 years. The winery and estate vineyard is now owned and operated by Josh and his wife, Lisa, who oversees sales and marketing, while Josh oversees the vineyard and other farm and orchard operations.
In 2011 Aryn Morell joined the team as winemaker, and winemaking is now managed at M&L Production in Walla Walla, a partnership between Morell and the Lawrences.
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@jfuruno Hi, if you’re still interested, I’ll go in for a 1/2 or 1/3, whatever works out. I have been pleased with the previous offerings from this producer here; haven’t tried the these Syrahs but the rattage seems interesting: a comparison of two different styles sounds fun. And, yes, pretty bottles.
Well hello Casemates! I’t’s been so long… I thought WineDavid lost my number…
But lo and behold - he’s made up for lost time by dropping off not one- but TWO bottles on my porch for Tuesday night rattage. Now mind you, I’m a professional, but two bottles in one sitting is a big ask, so I asked my good friend Doug to join me this evening to help me with my rat responsibilities. Doug is as geeky as I am - he does GIS vineyard mapping for a living - (there’s an app for that. No really, there is. He designed it.) So he joined me after dinner and we popped the cork on these two sexy looking bottles (agreed jfuruno) and we jumped in.
These are GEEKY wines!!! Old world Syrahs- completely up my alley. Not for the masses- thinking-man’s (and woman’s) wines…
The first glass we poured was the 2017 Vaucluse. 75% Syrah, 25% Grenache: Truth be told, this drinks like an old world, (think Crozes-Hermitage), straight Syrah. The Grenache is in a minor supporting role- adding a smidge of fruit to it’s savory Syrah counterpart.
Upon first pour, we both were underwhelmed. Muted nose and unremarkable palate. This is a wine that could easily be overlooked on first glance. But give it 15 minutes…
All of a sudden, this wine opened up. A nose of dark currant, burnt blood orange peel, dried cherries and an undeniable (and compelling) herbaceousness. On the palate- briny, savory, plum-y fruit with olive tapenade and white pepper galore (some whole cluster at work here). GREAT acidity - this is a great food wine- Doug and I were thinking classic/rustic pork chops… with sour cream and apple sauce.
This wine is rustic, but elegantly so. If you blind-tasted this with some selections from Croze-Hermitage, I’d be fooled. Worth $40, in my humble opinion, but silly at this price.
We followed with the 2017 Thunderstone Syrah (100% Syrah).
The nose on this wine doesn’t throw much fruit- notes of AllSpice, but really overt white pepper (tickles the nostrils).
On the palate, pluot, mulberry and all the peppers. White, black, gray, it’s all there. This one has A LOT of whole cluster, and it shows. There’s more fruit here too (and alcohol at 15.1%) - so overall the wine is just more brutish; less elegant - it NEEDS food to soak up some of the herby-ness… like a lamb stew- or a cassoulet with extra bacon. Doug noted a bit of dried rasin/ripasso/amarone notes on the palate which made it more complex.
Overall, a much bigger, more ‘in-your-face’ Syrah- I said Cornas, but that implies a pedigree that might be misleading. Don’t get me wrong, all told, a good deal at the Casemates price, but this is the one that you open with some stew, drink it down, and then - open the Vaucluse and savor it till the evening ends.
@neilfindswine Great rattage. I’m wondering how this fits in along with the Grand Klasse syrah which was up a month or two back. Might go in on 4 just to see how they all fit in (how many syrahs from a single producer is too many??). Rats on the Grand Klasse offer didn’t offer a lot of notes - round mouthfeel, some pepper, big fruit, and some florals. More oak and less whole cluster in the reserve bottling.
We are not going to let this deal pass us by. We bought the gard grand klasse cs and Syrah last time it was offered and enjoyed both. With that, our fridge is heavy on Syrah. Ideally, we would want 6 (3&3) but could go down to 4 if it helps with a split.
**Upon first pour, we both were underwhelmed - But give it 15 minutes….Set timer - check.
**The wine is just more brutish; less elegant - it NEEDS food to soak up some of the herby-ness… like a lamb stew… Wine paring for dinner - check (Note: wear gloves when pouring)
OK I have to: instinctive-toothy-crib
I really don’t need more wine but I love syrah and won’t pass up on Gard so I’m going to go ahead and just bite the bullet. Hopefully this goes summer shipment since we’re in the 90’s already here in Houston.