The recent days of sunny weather put Jon in the mood for more Rosé, so we opened up a bottle of Syncline Wine Cellars 2010 Rosé. Syncline is a small family owned winery in Lyle, Washington, on the Washington side of the Columbia River, right along the border with Oregon. We had stopped there for a visit on our 2012 President’s Day Weekend Wine Tour. For more information on that visit…
The Syncline Wine Cellars owner and winemaker tends toward the science of winemaking, and it is apparent when you read the tasting notes on their website. It is made in the Saignée style, where the skins remain on the grape for a short period of time to impart some color, but the juice (the must) is drained off before it darkens to the color of a red wine. Syncline uses a different blend for their Rosé each year, sampling some of the best grapes of the year from around the region. This year they sourced their fruit from the Columbia River Gorge (Pinot), Horse Heaven Hills (Grenache and Mourvedre), and McKinley Springs (Grenache, Cinsault, Couniose and Carignan). And throw in a bit of Red Mountain for good measure.
Syncline 2011 Rosé Label - a Different Blend than the 2010
The 2010 Syncline Rosé is a blend of 33% Pinot Nor, 17% Grenache, 17% Cinsault, 15% Carignan, 9% Mourvedre, and 9% Counoise. Other than the Pinot Noir, these are all relatively rare grape varieties, and all ones that I have really enjoyed in other wines. This blend has a melon nose, with bit of grapefruit. It is a dry wine which has a brief taste of strawberry, but a lingering taste of honeydew and grapefruit. It has a very dry finish. Jon announced that it is one of the more complex Rosés he has tried. On a hot day, this wine will really hit the spot. I recommend it for when you are in the mood for a dry Rosé.
Yesterday we went to a new grocery store in town for the first time. It has touted itself as having an extensive selection of high quality wine, so I wanted to see if they had the goods. Whenever I check out a wine store, I always want to know if it has wines that I can’t find other places. Wines I haven’t already seen in every other shop in town.
The layout is a little unusual – when you go into the wine section, there is a small walled off entrance with one way in and out. Good thing I’m not severely claustrophobic, because that might pose a problem. After he helped another customer, Mark the Wine Steward came over to Jon and I to see if we needed any help. So, I decided to try him out. I asked if he had any single varietal Chenin Blanc. He pointed to an empty spot on the shelf and explained that the previous customers had just purchased the last bottle. He told me that it is a French Vouvray, and told me that Vouvray is the French name for Chenin Blanc. Off to a pretty good start, but when I looked it up online I learned that Vouvray is actually the region in France – but it is planted almost exclusively with Chenin Blanc. So… he was close enough. Mark also showed me a couple of run of the mill Chenin Blancs from Sutter Home and Hogue, but told me that they were known for being sweeter wines. He didn’t say it out loud, but you could tell he wasn’t a fan – and neither are we.
Jon and I usually know what we are looking for, but we know far more about domestic wines than European ones. Mark mentioned that he lived in France for a year, so I asked him to recommend a nice dry Rose. He showed me three French Roses with price points of $10, $11 and $20. I picked the $11 wine, the 2010 Recolte Rose by Domaine Sainte-Eugenie, because it is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Mourvedre. When we tried it last night, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a little light, but the perfect end for a very hot day. For $11, I will certainly take Mark’s recommendation again.