Christy Canterbury MW is a Manhattan-based journalist, speaker and judge. She also writes for Decanter, Wine Enthusiast, Food Arts, Santé and Sommelier Journal (among others) and has contributed to two books. Christy covers the US market for timatkin.com.
Master of Wine Christy Canturbury had this to say in a special report of Washington State wines.
Syncline Wine Cellars 2011 Cuvée Elena (93)
Made from 100% free-run juice that sees no new oak, this hodge-podge of Red Mountain, Horse Heaven Hills, Yakima Valley and Columbia Gorge fruit includes Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault. At first glance, it could be hard to see the point of paying double the price of the Subduction, but this bottling’s sheer refinement and millefeuille of flavors will definitely age longer and better. Drink: 2014-21
Syncline Wine Cellars 2012 Subduction Red (93)
This is a seriously sexy wine for an impressively attractive price. A Southern Rhône mishmash of varieties (39% Mourvèdre, 29% Grenache, 14% Syrah, 9% Carignan, 7% Counoise and 2% Cinsault), the palate tastes of Damson plum, pomegranate and black fig highlighted by anise, white pepper and garrigue. The soft tannins and acidic relief on the finish squarely place this medium-bodied wine in the gulpable category.