James and Poppie Mantone founded Syncline Cellars a few years ago in the small town of Lyle Washington and decided to focus mainly on Rhone grape varities. Their passion for wine started for both of them years before meeting as both were working at LaVelle Vineyards – which is where they met.
As a small production winery, Syncline has the luxury of being able to have full artisitic control of the direction it wants to take its wine – it sources quality fruit from all over the Columbia Valley AVA.
2007 Subduction Red – W.E.P. Rating: 90%
- Vineyard Source: Varies
- Grape varieties: 35% Syrah, 21% Mourvedre, 16% Grenache, 15% Cinsault and 13% Counoise
- Alcohol: 14.1%
- Harvest Dates: Early September – late October
- Year planted: Varies
- Price: $18
- Production: 1750 Cases
Nose: Crushed peppercorn, blackberry, blueberry, elderberry and cinnamon.
Taste: Good amounts of leather, shoe-polish, tobacco, cocoa, eucalyptus, black fruit and some nice cedar box action – good acidty and tannin structure in this wine make it an easy daily-drinkier with a decently long finish.
2007 Mourvedre – W.E.P. Rating: 90%
- Vineyard Source: Coyote Canyon
- Fruit: 100% Mourvedre
- Harvest Dates: Mid October
- Alcohol: 14.2%
- Time on oak: 16 months
- Price: $30
- Production: 225 Cases
Nose: Tons of oak coming off the nose within the first few minutes of opening – fast forward a day after opening and some nice scents come flowing off this wine like dried blueberry, pencil lead, fruit cake, blackberry, vanilla and cocoa.
Taste: Some good amount of fruit on the front attack which brings in layers of caramel, prunes, blackberry, cassis – tons of black pepper and a similar tar-hint that I found in the subduction red. The finish is okay, however, a bit too hot for me – this would be a good wine with tomato-sauced pasta dishes and veal.
Winery website: www.synclinewine.com