Wine Enthusiast


91:Syncline – 2017 Picpoul, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley ‘Editor’s Choice’

Aromas of lemon pith, citrus rind, wet stone and sweet herb lead to an elegantly styled palate backed by a blast of tart, lemony acidity. It requires food alongside it to be properly appreciated; shellfish should fit the bill.

90 Syncline – 2017 Gruner Veltliner, Bloxom Vineyard, Columbia Valley ‘Editor’s Choice’

This is one of a handful of offerings of this variety in the state. A new vineyard for this wine, aromas of lemon zest, lentil, talc and herb lead to zingy, drawn-out citrus-rind flavors that persist on the finish. Pair it with halibut with a lemon caper beurre blanc sauce.

89: Syncline – 2017 Grenache Blanc, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley

Aromas of white peach, flower blossom, lemon verbena and sweet herb are followed by light elegant fruit flavors. Citrus notes linger on the racy finish.

90: Syncline – 2016 Mourvedre, Horse Heaven Hills

A blend of fruit from Alder Ridge (58%) and Coyote Canyon vineyards, this lightly colored wine brings aromas of black raspberry, cherry gummy, garrigue and black pepper. The palate is light, piercingly pure and flavorful, with a fruit-filled finish. It shows a lot of elegance.

89: Syncline – 2016 Carignan-Grenach, Horse Heaven Hills

Carignan makes up 62% of this wine, with the balance Grenache, and all of the fruit comes from the McKinely Springs and Alder Ridge vineyards. Light in color, aromas of raspberry candy, kirsch, flower and herb are followed by elegantly styled fruit flavors that bring a sense of delicacy.

90: Syncline – 2016 Subduction Red, Columbia Valley

This wine is a blend of 40% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 14% Cinsault and 11% Carignan. High toned aromas of dried herb, red plum, white pepper, smoked meat, raspberry, dried flower and fennel lead to a soft, flavorful palate, with a lengthy, raspberry and spice filled finish.

91: Syncline – 2016 Grenache Blanc, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley

Grenache Blanc is an up-and-coming variety in the state. This standout example brings talc, flower, pear and citrus aromas. The medium-bodied palate is tart and lively, piquing interest.

91: Syncline – 2016 Picpoul, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley

From an extremely rare grape variety for the state, this delivers citrus rind and flower blossom scents and sleek fruit flavors backed by mouth-puckering acidity. It screams for shellfish.

90: Syncline – 2016 Gruner Veltliner, Washington State

There are only a few examples of Grüner Veltliner from the state, and this one—from the Columbia Gorge and Terrace Heights—shows the variety’s promise at the right site and in the right hands. Its white pepper, citrus and herb scents are followed by broad, dry fruit flavors stitched together with tart acidity that carries them into the finish.

91: Syncline – 2015 Cuvee Elena, Columbia Valley

This wine is a blend of 60% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah, 13% Grenache and 7% Carignan. High toned, very pure aromas of raspberry, plum and assorted herbs lead to a tight palate of red- and blue-fruit flavors. Give it a several hour decant or some additional time in bottle to see it at its best.

90: Syncline – 2015 Syrah, Estate, Columbia Gorge

Fruit for this small-production wine came in at a scant one ton per acre and was all aged in older oak barrels. Generous aromas of raspberry, huckleberry, dark fruit, herb and whiffs of black pepper. The palate offers tart, tangy, tightly wound fruit flavors that bring a firm grip of puckering tannins. This requires additional time in bottle or a long decant to be properly appreciated. Best after 2021.

90: Syncline – 2015 Mourvedre, Heart of the Hill, Red Mt.

This wine offers reserved aromas of plum, dried herb and spice. Extremely pretty, elegant red fruit and plum flavors burst on the palate, showing a lot of purity. Recent vintages of this variety from this winery have been big, bold and rich. This one is a bit more about delicacy.

93: Syncline – 2015 Mourvedre, Horse Heaven Hills

This 100% varietal wine delivers mineral, citrus twist, raw meat, raspberry and black pepper notes. The palate is full bodied and packed to the brim with fruit and savory flavors. It brings a seamlessness and length that are absolutely dazzling.

91: Syncline – 2015 Syrah, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley

Brooding black raspberry, iron and crushed dried-herb aromas are followed by bright red fruit flavors in this wine. Its purity and texture provide great appeal.

91:  Syncline – 2015 Grenache – Carignan, Horse Heaven Hills ‘Editors’ Choice’

This wine—the only of its kind in the state—is a blend of 70% Carignan and 30% Grenache. It brings appealing, quite pure aromas of herbs, bramble and red fruit. The flavors also bring a compelling sense of purity, with no new oak influence anywhere in sight. Put it on the dinner table to see it shine.

90:  Syncline – 2015 Sparkling Gruner Veltliner Brut, Underwood Mt, Columbia Gorge

Grüner Veltliner is an extreme rarity in the state. Sparkling offerings? Unheard of. This one brings appealing aromas of lime pith, white pepper, autolytic notes and citrus. The palate brings a big blast of acid, drinking quite dry. The acid is intense on its own but it will fit in nicely at the dinner table.

92:  Syncline – 2015 Subduction Red, Columbia Valley ‘ Editors’ Choice

Syrah makes up just over half of this wine, with the balance Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan and Counoise. Perfumed aromas of fresh blue and purple fruit, spice and herb lead to achingly pure fruit flavors that persist effortlessly on the finish. It’s a one wine charm offensive with a heart-stopping mouthfeel.— S.S.  (2/1/2017)

90:  Syncline – 2015 Grenache Blanc, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley

Bottlings of this variety remain an extreme rarity but it’s showing a lot of promise in the state. This wine has aromas of wet stone and star fruit that are followed by a full feeling yet still elegant palate that displays a textured mouthfeel and a lingering finish.— S.S.  (2/1/2017)

90: Syncline – 2014 Rose, Horse Heaven Hills

This blend of 35% Cinsault, 35% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre is a very pretty pale shade of peach. It brings strawberry, herb and wet stone aromas, sleek and creamy flavors and a snap of acid. The finish lingers.

92:  Syncline – 2014 Syrah, Estate Vineyard, Columbia Gorge ‘Editors’ Choice’

Syrah is a relative rarity from this appellation. Harvested at one ton per acre, this one brings light aromas of earth, white pepper, herb and smoked meat. It’s palate coating, with reserved red fruit and spice flavors that bring a compelling sense of texture. There’s no apparent new oak influence, keeping the focus on the fruit. Put it on the dinner table and it will shine.

92:  Syncline – 2014 Mourvedre, Heart of the Hill Vineyard, Red Mountain

This variety is still a rarity in the state, with vineyard-designated offerings even more so. Aromas of cherry, mortared herb and mineral are followed by focused tightly wound black-fruit flavors that persist on the finish. It appears to show a bit more oak influence than the winery is typically known for but still delivers the goods.— S.S.  (2/1/2017)

92:  Syncline – 2014 Cuvee Elena, Columbia Valley

The winery’s flagship offering, this wine is a blend of 60% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache and 10% Syrah. It conjures up aromas of high-toned herbs, potpourri and the purest of cherry notes. The flavors coat the palate, showing a hypnotic sense of purity along with an impressive mouthfeel.— S.S.  (2/1/2017)

92:  Syncline – 2014 Mourvedre, Columbia Valley

With 10% Syrah blended in, this wine offers high-toned notes of herb, kirsch, crushed flowers and cherry, bringing a wild element along with it. The black cherry flavors are pure and vivid, showing a sense of purity that captures the attention, with a lengthy finish that kicks it up a notch.— S.S.  (2/1/2017)

92:  Syncline – 2014 Syrah, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley

Coming from one of the state’s premier Syrah vineyards, this wine shows a downright mesmerizing sense of purity with its aromas of purple fruit, herb, fresh flower, earth and iron. The flavors dazzle but win with elegance and sophistication along with a drawn-out finish.— S.S.  (2/1/2017)

92:  Syncline – 2014 Syrah, Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain

The aromas draw you into the glass, with brooding notes of purple fruit, mineral and baking spice. The cherry flavors are full in feel, showing impressive purity and depth. There’s no trace of new oak in sight.— S.S.  (2/1/2017)

90:  Syncline – 2014 Grenache Blanc, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley

The starfruit, mineral and pear aromas provide plenty of intrigue. The broad, fresh style delivers, with lemony acidity that draws out the finish.  — S.S.  (3/1/2016)

90:  Syncline – 2014 Gruner Veltliner, Columbia Gorge

Aromas of peppery spices, hay and apple lead to dry, sleek flavors, high-wire acid and a citrus-rind-filled finish. Try it with shellfish. — S.S.  (3/1/2016)

93:  Syncline – 2013 Syrah, McKinley Springs Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills

Fermented 40% whole cluster in concrete cubes, this stunning wine provides intensely pure aromas of red and black fruit, flowers and herbs. The dark-fruit flavors are exquisite and fresh with an extended finish. — S.S.  (3/1/2016)

92:  Syncline – 2013 Grenache – Carignan, Horse Heaven Hills

This is the only blend in Washington State where these two varieties play near-equal parts. Coming from a mixture of McKinley Springs and Alder Ridge vineyards, it offers aromas of brambly raspberries and herbs that lead to strikingly pure flavors and a texture that weakens the knees. An extended finish caps it off. — S.S.  (3/1/2016)

92:  Syncline – 2013 Syrah, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley

Immediately arresting with its aromas that suggest mineral, sappy raspberries and blackberries, this wine surprises with its tart, supple fruit flavors. Its purity and acidity making it best suited for the dinner table. — S.S.  (3/1/2016)

91:  Syncline – 2013 Mourvedre, Columbia Valley

The fruit for this wine comes nearly equally from Red Mountain and Horse Heaven Hills (Alder Ridge, Force Majeure and Heart of the Hill vineyards). Jammy raspberry and plum aromas lead to rich, full flavors. It brings plenty of fruit-filled appeal, though the variety’s wild side seems tamed. — S.S.  (3/1/2016)

92:  Syncline – 2013 Subduction Red, Columbia Valley

This blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Counoise, Grenache and Cinsault immediately appeals with its aromas of plum, candied raspberry and garrigue, with no oak influence anywhere in sight. It’s fruit laden, focused and supple, with a feel that dazzles the senses and pure fruit flavors that just won’t quit. — S.S.  (5/1/2015)

91:  Syncline – 2013 Cinsault, Horse Heaven Hills

This lightly colored, 100% varietal wine offers light notes of bubble gum, red fruit, cream and plum. The pillowy-soft, sumptuous mouthfeel is the star of the show, displaying a dazzling feel that leads to an elegant, lingering plum-filled finish. — S.S.  (5/1/2015)

91:  Syncline – 2012 Cuvee Elena, Columbia Valley

Equal parts Mourvèdre and Grenache finished with 10% Syrah, this ripe wine offers aromas of dried herbs, coffee and candied red fruit. It’s rich and layered with abundant cherry flavors that lead to a light squeeze of tannins that hold on through the fruit-filled finish. — S.S.  (5/1/2015)

91:  Syncline – 2012 Syrah, McKinley Springs, Horse Heaven Hills

Coming from 12-year-old plantings that are just starting to hit their stride, this wine shows brooding notes of blueberry, rhubarb, herbs and espresso. The flavors show intensity and restraint with slightly gritty tannins.— S.S.  (5/1/2015)

91:  Syncline – 2012 Syrah, Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain

This wine comes from all free-run juice and was aged 16 months in three- to four-year-old French barrels. The result is a luxuriously pure wine that puts a premium on the feel of its plum and cranberry flavors, with a light squeeze of tannins that brings it home. — S.S.  (3/1/2015)

91:  Syncline – 2012 Mourvedre, Red Mountain

This blend of fruit from Ciel du Cheval (85%) and Force Majeure vineyards was fermented in concrete before aging in three- to seven-year-old oak barrels. It’s dazzling in feel, with rich, supple, focused cranberry and cherry flavors that lead to a tart, drawn-out finish. — S.S.  (3/1/2015)

92:  Syncline – NV Brut Rose “Scintillation”

A blend of 58% Pinot Noir and 42% Chardonnay, this light copper-colored wine is über aromatic with notes of passion fruit, guava and strawberry. As sweet as the aromas smell, the palate drinks bone dry with abundant brioche flavors, exquisite balance, and a long, lingering finish. Sourced from Celilo Vineyard, this is a hugely impressive wine. — S.S.  (5/1/2014)

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)