Wine Enthusiast


91:  Syncline 2012 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc (Yakima Valley)

Syncline’s James Mantone has hit the bull’s-eye once again with this single vineyard, 100% varietal Grenache Blanc. It’s rich without being thick, loaded with luscious Asian pear and apple, hints of white peach and a splash of grapefruit. The texture and acidity add to the liveliness in the mouth, and keep the wine fresh through a long and satisfying finish.  — P.G.  (5/1/2014)

95:  Syncline 2011 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Syrah (Red Mountain)

This is a focused, riveting expression of Red Mountain Syrah from a great vineyard. It’s packed with juicy flavors of fresh raspberries, tinged with tangerine-flavored acids. Elegant and fascinating, it’s a pure, fruit-driven expression of the grape, bolstered by the natural minerality of Ciel du Cheval fruit.  — P.G.  (5/1/2014)

94:  Syncline 2011 Cuvée Elena Red (Columbia Valley (WA)

With each new vintage of Cuvée Elena, the blend of grapes and vineyards grows more complex, the vines older, the flavors more compact and captivating. A sophisticated and penetrating mix of strawberry and raspberry preserves, highlights of herb and spice, a dash of clean earth, and a lingering and detailed finish make this a wine to savor immediately while tucking…  — P.G.  (5/1/2014)

93:  Syncline 2011 Boushey Vineyards Syrah (Yakima Valley)

Pure Syrah from a great site is on display here. A core of brambly black fruit is presented with particular attention to details of texture, spice and overall balance. Polished and full of finesse, this is a charmer at an attractive price.  — P.G.  (5/1/2014)

93: Force Majeur 2011 Collaboration 6


93:  Syncline 2011 Grenache (Columbia Valley (WA))

A sensational effort, this wine is 100% varietal, sourced from four vineyards scattered throughout the sprawling Columbia Valley. Fragrant and concentrated, its hallmarks are purity and intensity. Plum, cherry liqueur and cassis are the focus, with bright lemony acids adding lift and zip to the mouthfeel.  — P.G.  (5/1/2014)

91:  Syncline 2011 Mourvèdre (Red Mountain)

This is pure Mourvèdre from three excellent Red Mountain sites: Heart of the Hill, Ciel du Cheval and Grand Rêve vineyards. Tart, stony raspberry fruit carries a hint of cured meat and straw. The wine displays excellent length and a delicious purity.  — P.G.  (5/1/2014)

91:  Syncline 2011 Grenache-Carignan (Columbia Valley (WA))

The proportions favor Grenache 55% to 45%. Four vineyards from three widely different AVAs contributed grapes, yielding compelling aromas of wild berry, raw meat and a brambly character. This is a wine that wants you to take a walk on the wild side, so put on some Lou Reed while you enjoy it.  — P.G.  (5/1/2014)

90:  Syncline 2011 Mourvèdre (Columbia Valley (WA))

Pure Mourvèdre from a mix of Columbia Valley vineyards, this is clean, sharp and varietally accurate. Tart raspberry fruit is set in a balanced frame of clean earth, wet stone and mineral. It’s a fine-boned wine, well-structured and powerful.  — P.G.  (5/1/2014)

90:  Syncline 2011 Subduction Red (Columbia Valley (WA))

Always extremely popular, this Southern Rhône-style six-grape blend is especially noteworthy in 2011. It’s a powerful wine that has a broad array of red and purple fruits, plus penetrating focus. This is juicy, forward and immediately delicious, and it also has the structure to age, perhaps surprisingly well.  — P.G.  (4/1/2013)

94:  Force Majeure 2010 Collaboration Series VI Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red (Red Mountain)

This is a marvelous wine, made for Force Majeure by Syncline’s James Mantone. A delectable blend of 56% Mourvèdre, 38% Syrah, and 6% Grenache, it’s a spice rack of aromatics, with flavors of boysenberry and raspberry over crushed rocks. Tight, tart and tangy, it has remarkable depth and density, and should age beautifully for at least a decade.  — P.G.  (11/1/2013)

93:  Syncline 2010 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Syrah (Red Mountain)

Yummy is the word that best describes this wine, but there’s much more than just ripe berry flavors. Juicy, fresh and focused, this is akin to drinking liquid raspberries that are drizzled over clean rocks. It is a deep, intense wine that should dazzle you for up to a decade or more.  — P.G.  (4/1/2013)

93:  Syncline 2010 McKinley Springs Vineyard Syrah (Horse Heaven Hills)

This pure, supple, fruit-laden Syrah is loaded with wild blackberry fruit, and detailed veins of licorice, coffee, and iron filings. The wine’s excellent length and polished tannins showcase exceptional handling of superb fruit.  — P.G.  (7/1/2012)

92:  Syncline 2010 Cuvée Elena Red (Columbia Valley (WA))

This blend showcases Grenache and Mourvèdre, with small amounts of Syrah, Counoise and Carignan. Raspberry, cherry and chocolate flavors combine with and are enlivened by a dash of white pepper. Excellent focus and length suggest that this can be cellared for at least five years.  — P.G.  (4/1/2013)

90:  Syncline 2010 Mourvèdre (Red Mountain)

This is pure Mourvèdre from Heart of the Hill and Ciel du Cheval vineyards. The Red Mountain terroir is on display in the form of a spicy cherry-pie flavor that is set off by minerality and dense, earthy tannins. A kiss of chocolate seals the deal.  — P.G.  (4/1/2013)

93:  Force Majeure 2009 Collaboration Series VI Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red (Red Mountain)

This is the first vintage for this wine, made by Syncline’s James Mantone. A delectable blend of 48% Mourvèdre, 28% Grenache and 24% Syrah, aged in 100% neutral oak barrels, this is a sappy, concentrated, mouth-pleasing blast of plum, cherry and spice. As it rolls across the palate, the distinct impression is of chocolate-covered cherries.  — P.G.  (2/1/2013)

93:  Syncline 2009 McKinley Springs Vineyard Syrah (Horse Heaven Hills)

A dark, smoky, earthy Syrah with juicy blackberry and black currant fruits. This wine just coats the palate and seduces; threads of coffee and caramel, baking spices and cinnamon all weave through the lengthy finish. The tannins are supportive but unobtrusive, and the balance is superb. It finishes with a burst of grilled meat.  — P.G.  (9/1/2011)

93:  Syncline 2009 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Viognier (Horse Heaven Hills)

A lush mouthful of nuanced fruit, this single-vineyard Viognier is loaded with a rich mix of peach, apricot, papaya and guava fruit. Laced into the hefty fruit core are baking spices and cocoa powder, along with suggestions of curry and cumin. This wine should be mandatory with curry dishes.  — P.G.  (12/31/2010)

92:  Syncline 2009 Heart of the Hill Vineyard Mourvèdre (Red Mountain)

A stunning wine, this could be the poster child for the future of Washington Mourvèdre. The aromas are a dappled and seductive mix of raspberries, moist earth, baking spices, mocha and an intriguing suggestion of wet cement. Marvelous definition, length and character. Give it plenty of breathing time and it gains mass and complexity.  — P.G.  (9/1/2011)

91:  Syncline 2009 Pinot Noir (Columbia Gorge (WA))

It has a delicacy rarely seen in domestic Pinots, with scents of roses and chocolate, and flavors of wild mountain raspberries and tangy cranberry. Acids bring a tartness to the mouth, and the tannins are ripe and proportionate, yet substantial. They suggest that this young wine could have a surprisingly long cellar life.  — P.G.  (9/1/2011)

90:  Syncline 2009 Subduction Red (Columbia Valley (WA))

The new vintage of this ever-popular blend is 39% Mourvèdre, 19% Counoise, 17% Syrah, 16% Grenache, 6% Cinsault, and 3% Carignan. What a compelling nose! A rich mix of tar, berry, smoke, earth and graphite opens into a broad and inviting wine with all of the above, splayed out across the palate and finished with a lick of bright acidity.  — P.G.  (7/1/2011)

90:  Syncline 2009 Underwood Mountain Vineyard Grüner Veltliner (Columbia Gorge (WA))

Far and away the best yet from this five-year-old site, Syncline’s 2009 GV is a remarkable wine. While retaining clear varietal character—light pepper, green herb, and a floral/citrus palate—it brings the vivid brightness of Washington fruit into play, along with a searing acidity and surprising body. All this and low (12.5%) alcohol.  — P.G.  (12/31/2010)

92:  Syncline 2008 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Mourvèdre (Horse Heaven Hills)

Brilliantly aromatic, this wine beguiles with exotic scents of plum pudding, spice cake, cherry compote, pipe tobacco, red licorice and raspberry jam. All that and more can be tasted—the wine is a riot of fruits and baking spices. This makes the best possible case for Mourvèdre as a stand-alone varietal wine here in Washington.  — P.G.  (12/31/2010)

92:  Syncline 2008 McKinley Springs Vineyard Syrah (Horse Heaven Hills)

From a section of the vineyard known as the “espresso block” this smoky, coffee-flavored Syrah certainly warrants the nickname. Penetrating aromas of espresso and baking chocolate roll into dense, compact flavors with cassis and black cherry packed tightly in the core. One of the most pure and deep expressions of Syrah from a state bursting with excellent versions…  — P.G.  (12/31/2010)

90:  Syncline 2008 Subduction Red (Columbia Valley (WA))

A mix of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Carignan, this perennial favorite is partially co-fermented and blended early; delivering unusual complexity and seamlessness at this young age. Light red fruits, leavened with brioche, dotted with pepper and toffee, create a tart, racy, juicy red wine which takes quaffable to a whole new level.  — P.G.  (3/1/2010)

94:  Syncline 2007 Steep Creek Ranch Red (Columbia Gorge (OR))

Though not yet certified, this estate vineyard is biodynamically farmed. This is the first release from these grapes. A Rhône blend (61% Syrah, 34% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre), it’s aromatically captivating, with a fascinating mix of violets and stones. The wine itself seems carved out of rock, its flavors in bas-relief. Intense raspberry and cassis, white pepper, fine…  — P.G.  (4/1/2010)

93:  Syncline 2007 Cuvée Elena Red Wine (Columbia Valley (WA))

Brambly fruits highlight this southern Rhône-style red blend. It’s a deeper, earthier, more complex version of the winery’s Subduction Red—here there is more concentration and a sauvage (or animal) aspect that adds complexity. Fresh and persistent, this is one of Washington’s best Rhône blends.  — P.G.  (3/1/2010)

92:  Syncline 2007 Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))
Wonderful aromatics, with suggestions of carpaccio, olive and violets. The tannins are ripe and polished, underlying glorious purple fruits, a panoply of berries and plums. It’s still very young, but made with perfect texture and balance, and a little white chocolate in the finish.  — P.G.  (9/1/2009)

90:  Syncline 2007 Subduction Red (Columbia Valley (WA))

This 35% Syrah, 21% Mourvèdre, 16% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 13% Counoise blend, finished in screwcap, is once again outstanding. This may be the best Subduction yet; bursting with gorgeous fruit mixing every kind of red and blue berry, with a vibrant and juicy mouthfeel that speaks volumes about the quality and clarity of the fruit. It does not have the…  — P.G.  (5/1/2009)

93:  Syncline 2006 G.S.M.C. Cuvée Elena Red Wine (Columbia Valley (WA))

The initials stand for Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre-Cinsault (the blend is two-thirds Grenache). A full, flowery bouquet sends up a potpourri of blossoms, citrus and coffee scents. The smorgasbord continues with a mouthful of concentrated plum, prune and cherry fruit. Careful barrel management adds pretty spices to the finish, with just a touch of moist earth in the…  — P.G.  (11/1/2008)

93:  Syncline 2005 Cuvée Elena Red Wine (Columbia Valley (WA))

This blend is concentrated and meaty. It perfectly captures and combines the raspberry intensity of the Grenache, the brambleberry fruit of the Mourvèdre and the peppery smoke and spice of the Syrah. Somehow winemaker James Mantone coaxes something akin to French garrigue out of the grapes as well, making this one of a handful of Washington Rhônes that really…  — P.G.  (3/1/2008)

91:  Syncline 2005 McKinley Springs Vineyard Syrah (Horse Heaven Hills)

The winery says this fruit comes from “the Espresso block” and it smells like it—smoky and almost jet black, it’s got penetrating aromas of espresso, bitter chocolate, smoke and licorice. Beyond the penetrating and spicy aromas are crisply defined layers of blackberry and black cherry fruit, sassafras and pepper, and even a hint of orange zest. Gorgeous winemaking…  — P.G.  (3/1/2008)

90:  Syncline 2005 Subduction Red (Columbia Valley (WA))

This Syrah/Grenache/Mourvèdre blend, finished in screwcap, is always one of Washington’s best values and flat out most delicious Rhône blends. The 2006 is the best ever, with dark, supple fruits that weave together berries, cherries, plums, cassis, licorice, pepper and Provençal herbs. It’s a riot of flavors, young and brash, but perfectly capable of aging.  — P.G.  (3/1/2008)

93:  Syncline 2004 Cuvée Elena G-S-M (Columbia Valley (WA))

This is the first bottling of what will be the winery’s flagship Southern Rhône-inspired blend. It includes the first estate-grown fruit, and the rest from Alder Ridge. It has great concentration, and a tarry, jammy aspect that pushes the fruit into more richness and intensity. Complexity and ripeness shows right from the start, carrying through to a finish with…  — P.G.  (3/1/2007

93:  Syncline 2004 Milbrandt Vineyards Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))

A superb follow-up to the winery’s 2003 Milbrandt, it’s the same 40/60 blend from Clifton and Sundance, both located in Washington’s new Wahluke Slope AVA. A penetrating nose of cherries, violets, blueberries and black olives leads into a wine that masks its power with finesse. Licorice, tar and smoke wrap around the bright raspberry fruit core, with just a whiff…  — P.G.  (6/1/2006)

91:  Syncline 2004 McKinley Springs Vineyard Syrah (Horse Heaven Hills)

The McKinley Springs Syrah has an intense, peppery, aromatic nose. Beyond the penetrating spice are layers of raspberry, black cherry, pepper and espresso, underscored with a musky chocolate. A finishing hint of orange zest (from a tiny bit of co-fermented Viognier) adds interest, and the finish lingers with sweet fruit right on through the end. This wine really…  — P.G.  (3/1/2007)