A mainstay in the SoDo district of Seattle, Structure Cellars was founded by Brian and Brandee Grasso — great people that make great wine. Brian got his start in the restaurant industry where he caught the wine bug and later served as cellar rat at Baer and also interning under the iconic guidance of Chris Sparkman of Sparkman Cellars before starting his own winery. Brian is humble, knowledgable and a downright awesome guy to talk wine with.
A few weeks back I had the chance to visit his new space in the SoDo district. The new wines by Structure beautifully showcased a hot vintage in Washington. 2015 had the earliest harvest in history, so achieving acidity was paramount especially in red wines. The Structure releases had marvelous poise and fruit weight. Look to the 2015 Structure Cellars ‘Foundation’ Cabernet Franc (WWB, 91) which has a wonderful herbaceous edge and shows a lovely texture and feminine quality. Even better was the 2015 Structure Cellars ‘Foundation’ Syrah (WWB, 92) as the wine showed really good range and downright delicious black fruit flavors with good acidity. Learn more about these excellent wines at structurecellars.com Here are the great new wines by Structure Cellars.
2015 Structure Cellars ‘Foundation’ Cabernet Sauvignon- Weighing in at 14.9% alcohol, this wine begins with aromatics of red bell pepper, green olive, cassis and anise. This shows off a plush texture and the wine delivers deep creme de cassis, anise, coffee grounds and green bell pepper. This finishes long with dark fruits and coffee grounds. Drink 2017-2026- 92
2015 Structure Cellars ‘Foundation’ Syrah- This inky colored Syrah (mostly sourced from the Wallula Vineyard) begins with aromas of sage, mocha, black cherry and cassis. This has a rich texture and a wonderful mouthfeel. Plush flavors of cassis, mocha, and crushed mint with blackberry jam. This is outstanding wine that will cellar well into the next decade. Drink 2017-2025- 92
2015 Structure Cellars ‘Foundation’ Cabernet Franc- This Destiny Ridge, Upland, Stillwater and Boushey Vineyard wine begins with aromatics of creme de cassis, anise, dried herbs and crushed mint. This shows a nice mouthfeel and texture as the wine leads to black cherry, anise and red bell pepper flavors. The long finish impresses. Drink 2017-2027- 91
2015 Structure Cellars ‘Craftsman’ Cabernet Sauvignon- Sourced from largely the Hedges Vineyard, the wine begins with aromatics of dried herbs, red bell pepper, creme de cassis and milk chocolate. The texture here is really nice. The plush mouthfeel showcases black fruit flavors with dark chocolate and coffee grounds. Drink 2017-2025- 91
2015 Structure Cellars ‘Spire’ Merlot- This 100% Merlot (Olsen and Boushey Vineyards) has a wonderful nose showing off black cherry, boysenberry and milk chocolate. This shows nice poise and a smooth mouthfeel. Black cherry, anise, creme de cassis and milk chocolate flavors impress as does the he long chocolate driven finish. Drink 2017-2025- 91
2015 Structure Cellars ‘The Newel’ Red Wine- This wine is sourced from a host of great vineyards including Destiny Ridge, Upland, Hedges and Wallula as well as Stillwater Creek. The wine is a blend of 58% Syrah and 42% Cabernet Franc. This has dark fruit aromatics that lead to wild blackberry jam, black cherry and sagebrush flavors that connect with milk chocolate additions. Drink 2017-2025- 90
2015 Structure Cellars ‘Piloti’ Cabernet Franc- This wine was sourced from the Destiny Ridge Vineyard as well as the Stillwater Creek, Boushey and Upland Vineyards.This has very pretty aromatics of rose petals, red bell pepper and spice box with red cherry. You love the herbal nose. This has really nice texture Red fruits connect well with savory aspects and sagebrush. Only 137 cases of this excellent wine produced. Drink 2017-2025- 91
2015 Structure Cellars Malbec- Sourced from the Olsen and Upland Vineyards this deep colored wine begins with aromatics of sagebrush, black tea, milk chocolate and white pepper. This shows a rich flavor profile with dark cherry, mocha and mint. This has marvelous texture and a long, intense finish. Drink 2017-2025- 91