It was a cool summer morning when we visited Syncline. Located on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge just where the lush green western part of the gorge begins to turn into the flatter browner drier landscape. Here though, the trees still grow lush and we entered the quiet property and set up in the gardens where James Mantone the vigneron and winemaker met us.
James is thoughtful and quiet, a man who uses words sparingly. He is happy to share information on his property and wines but is in no way boisterous. When he speaks, you know that he has thought through what he is saying.
He took us to the vineyard up on the ridge to see the view the Syrah has. You can see the river in the gorge from there. It’s beautiful and perhaps a little humbling, as you can see far into the distance and the scale really puts your smallness into perspective.
Syncline 2017 Subduction Red – Columbia Valley
A blend of 49% Syrah, 26% Grenache, 12% Carignan, 7% Cinsault, 6% Mourvedre, this is their version of a Côtes du Rhône Villages wine.
Syncline sources this fruit from a variety of vineyards in multiple AVAs: Columbia Gorge, Horse Heaven Hills, Red Mountain, and Yakima Valley. With all of the vineyards that they work with, they have long term contracts and a good relationship and sense of trust with the growers.
91 barrels were produced. 13.7% abv SRP $25
My notes on this wine start with its medium color of dark red with blue notes. On the nose, there are raspberry notes in the front, with deeper black fruit and rich red notes. Sitting in the very back you find notes of dried currant and whiffs of anise. There is also an undertone of brambles and dried herbs. As it evolves I get more spice.
Medium in body, dry and elegant with medium to low tannins, in my mouth it has deep juicy red and black fruits and something like the scent of a woodfire with herbs.
While this wine is from many vineyards it is incredibly integrated.
Bacon-wrapped stuffed pork tenderloin with raspberry sauce, beet greens, and a root vegetable gratin
Syrah loves bacon, and raspberry notes with this wine meant I wanted to tie those in somehow. I found a recipe for a stuffed pork loin and thought this would be a good match. I had just bought fresh beets, so beet greens on the side were a no brainer.
The pork loin is stuffed with crème cheese and a raspberry sauce. The loin is wrapped in bacon, basted in the sauce, and roasted for a few hours.
This was really wonderful with the wine, bacon, and raspberry and Subduction Red makes for a perfect trio.
I did a side of sauteed beet greens, that brings in an earthy note and added to that with our rainbow root vegetable gratin. You can find the gratin recipe as part of this post.
Bacon brie raspberry bites
We stuck with the bacon and raspberry notes for a sweet/savory dessert bite. This is really an hors d’oeuvres, but it was a perfect bite to finish the meal. These are quick and easy with phyllo cups filled with brie, bacon, and a raspberry preserve.
This was a perfect little bite with the wine.
Syncline is open for limited outdoor seating on weekends for tasting and you can do take out bottle sales. They have a reservation section on their site.
They are located across the river from the Dalles. If you can’t get there to enjoy their beautiful gardens you can order online and enjoy these delicious wines in the comfort of your own home.
Production here is under 6,000 cases annually. These wines are truly something special.
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.