Pure, polished smoky black fruit, black tea mixed with ripe plum and currant puree and a gorgeous barrel spice. The palate is a skyscraper with pressed black fruit, baking spice and a mixture of dried herbs and licorice. The tannins are present, but sweet and supporting of the massive volume this wine has.
Vintage and Winemaker Notes
Sourced from Lawrence Vineyards, harvested October 2013. Joseph Phelps & Tablas Creek Syrah. Aged in 100% new French oak.
Inspired by the French Grand Cru wines, Gård “Grand Klasse” is our reserve-level program, aptly named in reflection of our Scandinavian heritage. It represents the top tier of Gard wines, the best of what our estate vineyard has to offer. Award-winning wines produced by winemaker Aryn Morell to showcase the quality of the Lawrence Vineyards estate. To be designated “Grand Klasse,” each wine must meet strict standards of quality and is blended, bottled and aged with the utmost of care to bring you the very best of our grapes and effort in the bottle.
Gård Vintners is 100% estate grown sustainably at Lawrence Vineyards on the Royal Slope of the Columbia Valley AVA, featuring seven distinct vineyard sites with elevations ranging 930 feet to 1,675 feet. The combination of elevation and south-facing slope provides a great framework for grape production, while the diversity of the seven locations delivers a high level of complexity to Gard wines. Lawrence Vineyards is certified sustainable by Vinewise.org.
Blend: 100% Syrah
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Vineyard: Lawrence Vineyards
Titratable Acidity: 5.4 g/L
93 points, Wine Enthusiast
92 points, Wine Spectator
92 points, Wine Advocate
92 points, Vinous
Brooding aromas of huckleberry, orange peel and flowers are followed by seamless full-bodied palate-coating blue-fruit flavors. It’s far from shy but delivers the goods.
- Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast
The 2013 Grand Klasse Reserve is impressive, and it was my favorite wine in the lineup from Gard. Made from 100% Syrah, it offers lots of jammy raspberry and blackberry notes, white pepper and spice to go with a medium to full-bodied, pure, beautifully polished style on the palate. It should drink nicely for a decade.
Winery: Gård Vintners
Owners: The Lawrence Family
Winemaker: Aryn Morell
Location: Royal City, WA
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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@gardvintners I haven’t had a Gard Vinters Lawrence Syrah yet, but I have had the pleasure of trying Aryn’s Morell Lawrence concrete series syrah, which is fantastic. How do these compare/contrast. I have also had many Southard syrah’s from this vineyard. Definitely considering this one despite a lack of wine budget.
@trifecta thanks for the comment, glad to hear that you’ve experienced the Washington syrah in several ways. M&L concert series is going to be stylistically more similar to this syrah than Southards. The M&L syrah is picked at a similar time as our reserve, same winemaker, and consistent with the brand, but done in concrete. This remained in 100% new French oak, the tannins are present but in accordance with the fruit forward characteristics. Southard’s syrah is much different, while from our vineyards it’s picked at a different time, different winemaker, and different style. I hope that’s helpful, this is a great reserve wine that will age for over a decade and in our opinion is worth pinching pennies for to grab a few bottles.
Wow, trifecta, you asked the exact question I was going to ask, thanks! I’ve had several of the 2014 Morell Lawrence concrete syrahs, and found the high alc (15.4%) on that one to give it a bitter edge I just can’t get over. I’ve loved the Southard Syrah Lawrence Vineyard, but haven’t had it in several years. I think I’m going to go for a few bottles of this one, hoping we’ll love it, but not confident enough for a case. What we love about WA syrah is the deep savory/briney notes that you just don’t get in CA. I’ve also had a lot of Renvaan, which is probably way funkier than this Gard syrah.
Gard, does this syrah have much savory stuff going on? We’ve also really enjoyed Result of a Crush and Two Vintners, so WA syrah is our favorite, just not a ton of choices here in Western NY.
@trifecta@wnance we love that you love Washington wines, and especially syrah. We’re moving full steam ahead to distribute in New York. In general most age-worthy syrahs are savory, I’m just not sure I’m full understanding your definition. This syrah is fruit forward reminicent of dark fruits (black cherry, olive and currant), it’s complex with long fine tannins, the black fruits hit initially followed by a savory spice finishing, almost peppery finish. With age it will continue to develop it’s complexity so it really depends on when you open the bottle, but we suggest some time for it to breathe and open up. Hopefully that answered your questions, it’s our reserve line so we’re confident you won’t be disappointed and if you are, PLEASE don’t hesitate to reach out, we LOVE hearing from all syrah fans like yourself.
@gardvintners Thanks for your reply, this wine sounds really lovely, and I’ll definitely give it a try. As for my definition of savory in this context, some of my favorite WA Syrahs have had the floral top note from the Viognier or other white co-ferment (not this one, though, right, it’s 100% Syrah) and then blue fruit, sometime some stone fruit, crushed rock/mineral, and then the savory- bacon, or brackish seaweed, black olive, even beef, charcuterie, etc. It’s the fruit vs the savory that I find so compelling in WA syrah, I just love it!
@CorTot You can expect 10-15 years with proper care, this lot is coming from the warehouse so it’s been held at consistent temperature and will hold for a decade or longer. Currently it’s tasting amazing, no longer young but mellowing out nicely bringing forward the stoney black fruits of ripe plum and black cherry. The tannins are still present but subtle as time will only help this syrah develop.
I promise to post a Rat Report report on this tonight. I was lucky enough to get a bottle in advance, but I was unlucky to get it during a rather nasty cold.
This wine sounds ridiculously fabulous to me, and I didn’t want report on it when I could barely breathe. “Mucinex with hints of cherry Robutussin” probably isn’t fair (at least, I hope it isn’t). I’m breathing a bit better this morning, so I’ll rat at dinner and let y’all know.
Fair warning - I’m not some accomplished wine enthusiast. I’m a novice, so forgive me in advance. I still haven’t figured out what it means when a wine has “good legs”. Also note that I (poorly) read my Rattage-email while on cold drugs. I thought I had until October 20 (not the 2nd), so I mistakenly thought that I had time to recover before I cracked this open. So I’m late to the game. Sorry, guys!
For reference purposes, I greatly prefer reds to whites so this was already on my good side. My favorite is a big mean Cab that can beat me up and steal my lunch money. This Syrah did not beat me up but rather made some sexy eye contact, then firmly but intriguingly offered to invest my lunch money in a well-performing mutual fund that will give me a nice return. I liked it. A lot.
Instead of a nice beefy dinner that would properly compliment a Syrah, we opened this wine with what I had in the fridge - a pork tenderloin. Yeah - don’t do that. This wine totally overwhelmed that poor tenderloin. The pork was okay, but the wine was better by a whole lot.
This Syrah is a gorgeous deep, deep red with a purple-y smack to it. The tannins were definitely there at the first sip, and I got a nice nose full of currants and pomegranate. An hour later, the tannins were mellowing beautifully, and I tasted BIG black plums, some dark berries, and a tiny touch of prune. Yet another hour later, and I’m still getting lots of plum and now a mild black tea (along the lines of an Darjeeling).
One thing I thought was interesting is that it doesn’t present as alcohol-heavy - not in the nose, not in taste at first. The alcohol becomes easier to find the longer this is open. It’s hitting me harder than I expected which could be due to this stupid cold, but my husband thought the same thing. Maybe it’s a bit higher alcohol than average?
This is a really, really lovely wine. It’s very drinkable now, but I would really love to keep a few bottles back to see where it goes. If my bank allows it, I’m in for three, but I wish I could buy a whole case all for myself.
Just received my 3 bottles, and look forward to trying it. FYI, the alc listed on the bottle is 15.3%, not the 14.5% listed in the offer. That might have changed my decision to order, as I usually find anything (other than some zins) that’s over 15% too hot and bitter for my liking.
@wnance Maybe we can get Gard to clarify. There is some wiggle room with the TTB on alc%, so perhaps the lower alc level is correct and it’s just that they didn’t want to update their label approval with the TTB
@wnance Just to follow up here. I got some of @calvinko805 's case. He got shipped 2014’s not 2013’s and the alc is listed at 15.1%. I usually get just what i ordered from wine country connect this is the rare vintage swap. @winedavid49
@CorTot@wnance Adding @allieroon since that is who purchased. What vintage was received?
My guess is that Gard ran out of 2013 and had to substitute. If that’s the case, Casemates should have notified before shipping. This happened many moons ago with a Scott Harvey offer.
Over 15% abv is generally my cutoff and don’t buy unless I try. It would have likely had me out on this offer, but I have had multiple Syrahs from this vineyard that have been great.
I have gotten different vintages than expected on multiple occasions in the past when ordering Wellington from WW. And other times found out that vintages had been swapped on Wellingtons that I would have bought had I known the vintage that was actually being shipped. Although I always believed those to be honest mistakes on Peter’s part.
Only once or twice did I ever get a different vintage on any other WW purchases and everything has been as expected so far with my CM purchases but I certainly understand the concern. WD can only go by what the winery tells him initially but when the pallets arrive at WCC, there should be an inspection process to assure that everything is kosher.
@Allieroon We should follow up with WD about it. I haven’t ever had any Gard wines before, so this one was a flyer for me based on the vineyard. I’ll still take a few bottles so you aren’t stuck, but would have preferred the 2013 vintage as 2014 was a little warmer and earlier pick. I trust they will still be solid wines.
So, Gard is in the boondocks of Washington and one of the only wineries where WCC does NOT do the pick n pack. it looks like some '14’s got in there. i’m not sure the extent. it was not intended. We believe the wine is comparable, but those impacted should and will have something for the bother, inadvertant mishap. please go ahead and chime in with customer service if you got the wrong vintage.