Two years ago I had never even heard of Syncline wines. I was pooring WA wines at a Friday night tasting and the 2006 Syncline Columbia Valley Syrah crossed my palate for the first time. Wow, what a beautiful, expressive, balanced wine! My favorite part about this wine was the fact that it just kept changing as the night progressed. The wine started out with delicate notes of blackberry and vanilla, then opening up into waves of tobacco, Bing cherries, and minerality. I was an instant fan of Syncline.
Over the past two years I have had the opportunity to taste through just about everything this great wine making team has produced. Poppy and James have a passion for every wine they craft, and the quality is top notch at every price level. The entry level wines are called Subduction Red and Subduction White. They are both blends of Rhone varietals, released young to retain the bright flavors and supporting acidity that make them a perfect match for so many foods.
Besides the amazing Columbia Valley Syrah, they also craft a single vineyard Syrah from McKinley Springs in the Horse Heaven Hills. Also from the Horse Heaven Hills comes a Mourvedre that has gained a cult following. This wine shows all the earth and forest floor you would expect from this grape, and also enough minerality to allow it to stand on it's own. Cuvee Elena is a Chateauneuf-du-Pape style blend that offers plenty of light red fruits and spice. One of my favorite wines to date is a blend of Grenache and Carignan that drinks so nicely by itself or with a meal. The Pino Noir is also a must try.
Syncline does exceptionally well with white grapes as well, making bright examples they release shortly after the vintage to show off the youthful character they so love to capture. The 2009 vintage of single varietal whites is already on the shelf and includes a beautiful Viognier, a rich Roussanne, and even a very interesting grape called Gruner Veltliner from Austria. Gruner is the mainstay white wine in Austria and is a favorite of Sommeliers everywhere.
If you are ever looking to take a wine tasting trip off the beaten path, visit Syncline's winery and tasting room at the Columbia Gorge. Green construction was the goal and the atmosphere is friendly. If your interested in a bottle of Syncline wine, stop by the shop.