Seductive aromas of violets and black currant are interwoven with savory notes of black olive and smoked meat. On the palate; bramble, plum, and cherry leading to a densely-packed tannic matrix that lingers. This Syrah (co-fermented with 10% Viognier) manages to be at once wild and sophisticated. And with so many tightly packed layers in its youth, this wine benefits from 2-3 hours of decanting.
vamp: an indefinitely repeated phrase (or chord pattern) that provides a foundation for solo improvisation.
This Syrah fruit was completely destemmed and co-fermented with 10% whole-cluster Viognier. After completion of the primary fermentation, the wine was gently pressed to tank, allowed to settle for 24 hours, and then transferred to neutral French oak barrels for 16 months of aging. Finally, the wine was bottled without fining or filtration.
The 2016 growing season was warm and dry in Walla Walla and is poised to be a great Washington vintage. We harvested the Syrah fruit from Les Collines Vineyard, an early ripening vineyard for Syrah, as well as the Viognier from Dineen Vineyard on September 9th. We were delighted that they varieties ripened at similar paces and could be harvested the same day for co-fermentation.
AVA: Walla Walla Vineyard(s) – Les Collines/Dineen
Avg.Vine Age: 18 yrs
Harvest Date: September 9th
Brix at Harvest: 26.8(S)/21.9(V)
TA: 5.4 g/L
Closure: Diam 10 Cooperage: French (100% neutral)
Bottled: March 8th, 2018
Cases Produced: 69
Included in the Box
3x 2016 Gersing Cellars Vamp Syrah, Walla Walla Valley
12x 2016 Gersing Cellars Vamp Syrah, Walla Walla Valley
Founded in 2015, Gersing Cellars is a small-production winemaking company housed at SE Wine Collective, an urban winery in hip SE Portland, OR. Located just off of bustling Division Street, we keep delicious company with some of Portland’s most acclaimed restaurants and coffee shops, such as Pok Pok, Stumptown Roasters and Ava Gene’s. We source grapes from several select vineyards in the sub-AVAs of Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Washington’s Columbia Valley.
Founder and winemaker, Jason Gersing, is a longtime jazz saxophonist, and his passion for music influences both the wine’s style and its packaging. Each wine name contains a musical reference, and staff lines grace both the capsule and the label. Jason’s winemaking philosophy is informed by the jazz maxim that one needs to learn the rules in order to break them. Accordingly, Jason has studied Enology and Viticulture at Montpellier SupAgro in France and Chemeketa in Oregon. Before starting Gersing Cellars, Jason put his studies to practice at Argyle Winery for two years while also making wine at home.
Our mission is to showcase the diversity and quality of the Pacific Northwest wine-growing region by sourcing fruit from select vineyards in Oregon and Washington. We have a particular interest in crafting balanced, restrained wines from the bolder varieties grown in Yakima and Red Mountain, such as Merlot and Nebbiolo, as well as highlighting Pinot Noir’s expression in the Chehalem Mountains and Eola-Amity Hills.
I was lucky enough to be chosen to rat the Gersing Vamp Syrah. This Walla Walla Valley Syrah is a complex and quaffable wine that is a good representation of Pacific Northwest Syrah.
I received the sample bottle earlier this week, so I was able to taste it over 4 days. Here are my findings:
Even slow legs, very dark purple and opaque. Black fruit, tobacco, smoke, and mineral on the nose. Initial tasting found leather, blackberry, blueberry, black plum, mineral, and soft tannins with a lingering finish.
I added a little argon gas and re-corked it for tomorrow.
A little chocolate has been added to the nose. The flavor lost a little of the fruit the longer it sat in my glass. The wine tasted slightly more dry with a longer, more tannic finish. I’m a dry red wine drinker though, so I’m still enjoying it.
I added a little argon gas and re-corked it for the next day.
Now the wine is well-opened and has acquired some spice (cinnamon and clove) on the nose and in the finish. The flavor has matured and become rich and concentrated like a balsamic reduction. The nose is more faint on day three, and there’s less fruit on the palate.
I added a little argon gas and re-corked it for the last day
I shared a glass with a friend to finish the bottle. She picked up black fruit and tobacco on the palate. The tannins, though more prominent than on day one, were soft and oaky. We agreed that we’d like to drink more of the Gersing Vamp Syrah, and that this would be a good buy at $15 a bottle.
Thanks to CaseMates for choosing me to be a lab rat for this wine. If anyone has questions, I’ll check in here during the day to answer.
Curious as to why you would cap with Ar, especially for a short term.
Doesn’t really give the wine a chance to evolve and for you to see where it may go and let us know how it may have changed…
Ar on a bottle that has reached a sweet spot; absolutely!
@rjquillin I found that the wine did open more despite the Ar. I knew I wasn’t going to have more than one glass a night, and I wanted to preserve it as well as I could so that it would be open without getting stale. I just wanted to ensure it was still as fresh as possible on day 4.
I was excited when I got an email Thursday from Casemates that I’d be a Lab Rat! Thanks, Casemates for the opportunity.
I received the bottle on Friday so had a few days to try the wine to see if it evolved. For my last few Lab Rat reports, I’ve tried to take notes each day for three days (as long as the wine sticks around that long ). For this wine, I was able to reach the three-day goal!
Yay! A Syrah! Definitely up my alley and my husband will usually have a glass with me as well. Nice looking bottle. The cork was easy to remove and didn’t have sediment. The wine smelled like leather and fruit. I couldn’t get much else, and was happy I didn’t smell a lot of alcohol. Seemed medium bodied and color was a bit darker, more rich purple, than I expected. On first sip, I mostly noticed a bit of fizz. Then, quite a bit of dark fruit, which I couldn’t discern. Just a tad bit of leather. I usually like some vanilla and more layers than this wine provided, but seemed like an ok daily drinker on day one, besides the fizz. I would open a bottle of this with some snacks with a friend or on a random week night.
The alcohol seemed to have come out and the fruits had melded together. Fizz was reduced but still definitely there- my husband tried it day two for the first time and it was the first thing he mentioned. The alcohol seemed to overwhelm any other tasting notes besides dark fruit, possibly plum on day two.
I tried the wine and dumped it. This is a two-day drinker, which happens a lot. I’m always very impressed when I can leave a bottle on my counter and day three is drinkable; usually this means the wine could cellar a bit longer.
Overall, I’d like to see this wine for about $10-12 a bottle on Casemates. The case price seems reasonable but the $20/bottle price for the smaller pack does not. Of course, some of these notes are likely biased by my personal wine preferences (I love a Willamette Pinot Noir but do enjoy heavier, drier red wines on occasion.), and I may even have received an “off” bottle.
@jchasma I wonder if your bottle was a tad bit corked. I didn’t get the fizz or high alcohol in my rat bottle that you did. However, I did use argon gas to preserve the wine in the bottle over my 4 days of tasting, so I’m sure that helped in the longevity of my bottle.
@gemeinschaft79@jchasma I don’t see how the Ar factor could account for the difference. The fizz was reported even the first night. I’ve never had the experience of a bottle developing a fizz on Day 2, if it wasn’t fizzy upon first opening. Does sound like something was “off” in that bottle, though not necessarily “corked” as it’s generally understood. A little fermentation in the bottle, maybe?
@InFrom@jchasma I don’t think the Ar has any bearing on the fizz, I just meant that it might be part of the reason why mine had such longevity compared to @jchasma’s wine. In my experience, fizz is a result of the wine spoiling and turning into vinegar. I’m sorry yours was a dud. I really liked the bottle I received.