2015 Cuvée Elena
370 cases produced
Our southern Rhone inspired blend was selected from our most balanced and elegant barrels from the 2014 vintage. Rich and savory, the fresh blackberry and raspberry aromas and flavors are complemented by hints of violet and black pepper, with an elegant texture and graceful, velvety finish.
Vineyards: 28% Heart of the Hill, 20% Boushey, 17% Alder Ridge,14% Ciel du Cheval, 14% Coyote Canyon, 7% McKinley Springs
Columbia Valley (40% Red Mt, 40% Horse Heaven Hills, 20% Yakima Valley)
Varietals: 60% Mourvedre / 20% Syrah / 13% Grenache / 7% Carignan
14.6 % Alc. by Vol.
The forces that helped form Ciel du Cheval, Heart of the Hill and the Red Mountain geology in general, were truly gigantic. The deep bedrock of most of the Columbia Basin is basalt, formed from the massive lava out flows caused by intense volcanic activity. On top of the basalt lie layers of sediment deposited
by repeated ancient floods – the largest floods ever recorded. On top of the sediment are layers of sand and silt from eons of erosion and weathering. The high alkalinity and high calcium carbonate content produce wines of incredible structure and longevity. Mourvedre from Ciel and Heart of the Hill are used in this year’s Cuvee Elena.
McKinley Springs is planted at 1,100 feet in elevation on Warden sandy silt loam soils with north south row orientation. Canopy is trained modi ed sprawl with the west side left to “ op” to protect the grapes from the hot afternoon sun. Shoot thinning and green thinning occur to ensure an even crop. Perhaps it is the elevation, or the soils, but this vineyard gives us some of the best balanced fruit we work with. Grenache from McKinley is in the Cuvee Elena blend
Coyote Canyon Mourvedre was planted on what was the shoreline of the great Missoula Floods. This steep and stony hillside is layered with gravel and caliche and has unencumbered southern exposure.
Located at high elevation, the celebrated Boushey Vineyard produces wines of distinct character with balanced acidity. Layered soils and long, cool, slow ripening time allow for complex flavor development. 2011 was the first harvest using Boushey fruit for Syncline Winery. We are so impressed by the quality, delicious complexity and brilliant acidity, we plan to keep working with this vineyard for the long term.
Alder Ridge Vineyard yields wines of intensity and purity. Planted in a bowl along the banks of the Columbia River, with one of the longest growing seasons in the state, it is ideal for reliably ripening Mediterranean varietals.
Mourvedre was de-stemmed and fermented in 33HL Concrete cubes with twice daily pump-overs and early delestage in 2-7 year old French oak Puncheons (500L). Grenache was de-stemmed, and fermented in one ton open top fermenters with manual pigeage, then aged in neutral barrels 225 L to 500L in size. Syrah was de-stemmed and fermented in small open top fermenters with manual pigeage, then aged in small, older French oak. Un-fined, with 16 months in barrel. This bottling contains 100% free run juice.
Archived Tech Sheets
2004 was the first year we produced Cuvee Elena.