A Small Winery with Big Scores
I’m constantly looking for small wineries who craft fantastic wine, off-the-beaten-path producers whose wines deliver incredible value for the money. This time, my search lead me to Chris Gorman’s three-person Gorman Vineyards winery in Woodinville, WA. Chris’ wines regularly receive 93 points from the major publications, and his “Zachary’s Ladder” Cabernet landed in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2017. So, tasting Chris’s entire lineup was an exercise in delicious handmade wines that overdeliver. Every wine had striking character, and in the end, this 93-point 2015 Gorman Vineyards “Old Scratch” Cabernet Sauvignon — a characterful Red Mountain Cabernet with blueberry, bramble, cinnamon, and clove — struck the balance that I thought perfect for Wine Access clients.
Chris sources fruit from the top vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA, one of the best sites for Bordeaux varieties in the U.S. This 93-point Wine & Spirits Best Buy is a fantastic $24.99 Cabernet, and I am happy to have secured a portion of its tiny 900-case production.
Chris Gorman has always embodied “small” and “boutique” winemaking at his exciting operation in Woodinville — a Washington hotbed of wine activity. After gaining a deep understanding of the world’s finest wines while representing a European portfolio in the Seattle wine trade, Chris started making his own wine. The winery officially launched 2002, and it was a one-man show for 10 years, during which Chris was named one of Wine Spectator’s 10 rising stars in American winemaking. Now Chris and two other employees fiercely guard the quality of their 8,000-case production.
In addition to keeping the winery small, Gorman’s philosophy has always been to source the best fruit possible. So he turns to Red Mountain, Washington’s smallest AVA. The windswept region is tiny — just 4,040 acres — yet the granite, rock, and clay soils and southeastern exposure of Red Mountain are celebrated as one of the premier locations for Cabernet on the West Coast. The famed Antinori family of Tuscany has staked a claim in the AVA, and it has garnered even more attention lately, after 2014 Quilceda Creek Galitzine Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Mountain earned a perfect 100 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
The dark purple, dense, and sweet-fruited 2015 Gorman Vineyards Old Scratch Cabernet Sauvignon is exactly what I am looking for: a wine that delivers incredible quality for the money. This is the kind of wine I am proud to bring to Wine Access clients, and the kind you’ll be thrilled to have.
Matt Deller MW
Master of Wine