“We focus on building relationships with some of the most acclaimed and dynamic winemakers out there. We want to find special wines that will resonate with our guests and share the very best the world has to offer,” says James Parsons, El Gaucho Seattle Wine Captain.
Building strong relationships with our suppliers is an important element of our core values, and wine is no exception. We are fortunate to partner with local businesses who produce incredible, regional wines on a global scale.
One of those partnerships is with Chateau Ste. Michelle (CSM), whose latest project is collaborating with Rhône valley winemakers. CSM head winemaker Bob Berthau, along with Rhône winemaker Michel Gassier and enology consultant Philippe Cambie, have combined their experience to create three wines: both the Tenet GSM (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre) and The Pundit Syrah use Washington grapes. A third wine, Le Fervent, is a Syrah from Costières de Nîmes, the southern-most appellation in France’s Rhône Valley, which is imported by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.
In the last ten years, Washington has been recognized by wine critics for exceptional Syrah. The two leading wine review publications (Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate) have scored 63% of Washington Syrahs as 90 points or better, and 36% of Washington Syrahs have scored 92 points or better.
“Washington State produces some of the most distinctive Rhône-style red wines in the country. Vintners have homed in on ideal growing sites for Syrah throughout the Columbia Valley, and the best examples of the grape are often expressive, with pure fruit flavors and bright acidity,” wrote Augustus Weed in a 2013 Wine Spectator column.
Offering wines from both regions, the aim of the collaboration is to show the respective character and common excellence of the grapes, winemakers and terroir. For the inaugural 2013 vintage, just over 1,000 cases of Tenet GSM have been made, along with 8,000 cases of The Pundit, and 5,000 cases of Le Fervent.
The labels were purposely designed to be vastly different from current CSM products. The Tenet label is a palindrome, meaning it reads the same both forward and backward. Also, in this case, both right-side up or upside down.
According to CSM, the Tenet wine is to “demonstrate the belief (or “tenet”) that Washington State is an exceptional terroir for Syrah and its Rhône brethren, by establishing a parallel between Syrah’s cradle and most renowned region, the Rhône Valley, and its tremendous potential on Washington’s basaltic slopes.”
The Pundit label includes a wise owl which represents the pundit or “expert” symbolizing the expertise in producing top quality Washington Syrah.
Le Fervent (Leh fair-vahn) means passionate person in French, which is a nod to Michael Gassier’s passion for Syrah. The rooster has a long history in French symbolism, including decorating flags of the revolution.
Try this Exceptional Wine Now at El Gaucho and AQUA
While the Tenet GSM will be released August 1st, El Gaucho is excited to be able to offer this exceptional wine now (starting July 1st). In addition to the bottles of Le Fervent and The Pundit Syrahs, our wine menu offers 6oz., 9oz. pours, or, try 3 oz. pours for a side-by-side comparison at all of our locations – El Gaucho in Bellevue, Portland, Seattle Tacoma, and AQUA by El Gaucho. Come in and try them with us today!