A winery to watch closely - Printable Version

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- Bucko - 03-12-2007 11:33 AM

Syncline Wine Cellars was founded in 2001 by James and Poppie Mantone. Prior to starting up their own winery, the Mantones worked in the Oregon wine industry for several years.

Their passion for Rhone wines was further flamed by the remarkable Rhone-style wines coming out of Washington State. “I was really inspired by the McCrea Tierra del Sol and the early Syrahs from Glen Fiona,” said Mantone. This led them to establish their own winery on the Columbia River Gorge.

James does NOT like new oak, and his wines show it. You can actually taste the fruit.

2006 Syncline, Rosé, Columbia Valley, Washington, $14. The nose is a pleasant mix of sand plums and banana notes. Very fruity and seemingly sweet (no residual sugar), the bright acidity puts this one in competition with rosés from Tavel; 89/90.

2005 Syncline, Roussanne, Alderidge Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington, $22. The vineyard yield for these grapes is less than two tons per acre. The nose and palate are highlighted by peaches, melon rind, almonds and a wisp of smoke; 88/88.

2005 Syncline, Subduction Red, Columbia Valley, Washington, $18. Now here is a fun wine, plain and simple. A Rhone-style blend, the wine is elegant and easy to drink due to the soft tannins and charming fruit. Good value; 88/90.

2004 Syncline, Syrah, Destiny Ridge Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington, $28. I believe this wine needs time in the bottle to show better. Highlighted by black fruit, licorice, smoke and cedar, it is pretty tannic and hard at this point; 87+/87+.

2004 Syncline, Syrah, McKinley Springs Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington, $30. This wine is bigger, richer and more approachable than the Destiny Ridge. The wine is co-fermented with 2-3 percent Viognier grapes, and is loaded with black fruits and modest tannins; 90/90.

2005 Syncline, Viognier, Columbia Valley, Washington, $20. Anyone who drinks Viognier knows how fickle the grape can be. Mantone hit a home run here. He barrel ferments the wine in 10-year-old barrels and does not allow malolactic fermentation. Honeysuckle, peach and almond notes abound in this well-structured wine; 91/92.

- wondersofwine - 03-12-2007 03:41 PM

Thanks for posting your notes, Bucko.

- dananne - 03-12-2007 07:04 PM

Is that the winery off 14 near 142? Is so, I think Anne and I tried a few of their wines last summer. If memory serves, they have some nice stuff -- we thought their Destiny Ridge wines would be very nice after some aging, and the Subduction was just plain fun to drink. Thanks for the notes.

- Bucko - 03-12-2007 07:31 PM

14 & 142 it is. Right next to BF Egypt. I'm impressed at his vineyard effort and dedication to bringing Rhone grapes to the forefront. With age, I believe we'll see some remarkable Rhone-style wines coming out of WA.

- dananne - 03-12-2007 08:51 PM

Ah yes, BF Egypt. I believe we stopped for gas there [img][/img] Gotta give it points for the views, however.

Willow Crest in Prosser is making a fantastic CdP-style wine called XIII. I hope more folks in WA move in that direction and give Rhone blends a try. Along the same lines, when we visited last summer, several folks were tinkering with (or considering doing so) Tempranillo, which would be interesting. Outside of Abacela and Carlo & Julian in Oregon, it seems few have tried it in the Pac NW, and I'd guarantee that there are sites suitable for it.

Again, thanks for the notes.

- Kcwhippet - 03-12-2007 09:13 PM

Isn't Destiny Ridge the vineyard owned by Jarrod Boyle? If my memory is still somewhat intact, we met him when we all went to dinner with CCK at Anthony's home Port.

- dananne - 03-12-2007 09:27 PM

That's correct, KC.

- Bucko - 03-13-2007 12:14 AM

Syncline is heading that direction (blending that is), or so they say.