2 from Syncline

Hello friends. We have the return of two list stalwarts from Syncline today: their blink-and-you-miss-it rosé, and their killer Rhone-blend value, Subduction:

2014 Syncline Rose

There are certain wines you can set your clocks by as Full Pull list members, and Syncline’s rosé is one of them. It has historical significance, as it was the first rosé ever offered by Full Pull, way back in summer 2010 (that was the 2009 vintage). We haven’t missed a year since, and for good reason: this is as consistently excellent as rosé gets in Washington. It’s also one of those pinks that never seems to survive the summer. And isn’t it the transitory mayfly nature of rosé that makes it so beautiful? The ache of the fleeting experience only serves to heighten the pleasure, doesn’t it?

No surprise that these Rhone specialists would produce a rosé that is a blend of 38% Mourvedre, 32% Cinsault, and 30% Grenache (in my opinion, these are three of the top four varieties that work best for rosé in Washington; Cabernet Franc is #4). The grapes are picked specifically for rosé (13.4% alc), and the fermentation happens entirely in concrete (cool!). The result is a wine with pale salmon color and a truly compelling nose: mineral, Mourvedre exotic spice, and dustings of fennel pollen. The fruits are densely layered on the palate: citrus fruits, tree fruits, some stone fruits. Somehow this is a rosé that manages to evoke words like “brisk” and “creamy” in the same sentence. Nifty. It possesses a fine sense of minerality, a mouthwatering salty piquancy, a refreshing personality. This is a winemaker seriously dialed in on rosé.

2013 Syncline Subduction Red

I think we can all agree that one of the best trends to come out of the past decade of Washington winegrowing and winemaking is the emergence of Rhone blends as a very strong category for the state. But price point has been a serious challenge. I guess how I’d put it is: we have our Chateauneufs and our Gigondas, but where are our Cotes du Rhone Villages?

Fortunately, in recent years, we’ve seen some movement on that front. Ryan Crane’s Majestic for Kerloo, Sean Boyd’s VdP for Rotie, Kevin White’s outrageous blends for his eponymous label, Jon Meuret’s dearly departed Jaja label. But I’m hard pressed to think of any successful Rhone blend in Washington that presents a stronger value than Syncline’s Subduction Red. In 2013 it is a six-variety blend: 39% Syrah, 19% Mourvedre, 15% Carignan, 12% Counoise, 11% Grenache, 4% Cinsault. It is fermented and aged in a combination of French oak (10% new) and concrete Nomblot cube tanks, bottled after just about a year to capture the freshness and vitality of the vintage. It begins with a nose of raspberry pastille, provencal herbs, and rosewater. The palate offers spicy charm, layers of plush brambly fruit (13.8% listed alc), supple tannins, and a sturdy acid spine. It’s a fruit-driven beauty, and in a generous vintage like 2013, that fruit is awfully seductive.

This is also set to receive a terrific review from Sean Sullivan in the upcoming May issue of Wine Enthusiast: Wine Enthusiast (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 92pts.”

[Note: It’s going to continue to be important to calibrate Sean’s scoring for Wine Enthusiast. In this case, I think it’s worth mentioning that Sean has reviewed 479 red wines to date for Wine Enthusiast in the $30-and-under price range. Not a single one of them has earned a stronger nod than this 92pt review. All that to say: this is high praise indeed from Mr. S.]

First come first served up to 48 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and the wine should arrive in the next week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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