Every week the founder of Washington Wine Report, Wine Enthusiast contributing editor, and Seattle Met's house wine guru recommends a (typically) budget-friendly Northwest wine.
What: Syncline Wine Cellars Subduction Red Columbia Valley 2011 $20
Where: McCarthy and Schiering , PCC, Metropolitan Market
Why: Southern Rhone-style blends are increasingly popular in Washington of late. While many of these wines put the emphasis on syrah and grenache, here top-notch Columbia Gorge producer Syncline Wine Cellars works with some of the Rhone’s more tongue twisting varieties, including mourvèdre (moor-VEH-druh), carignan (karin-YAN), counoise (coon-WAH), and cinsault (sin-SO).
While the grape names may be hard to pronounce, the result is a wine that brings a lot of complexity and appeal with notes of fresh herbs, white pepper, cherry, and raspberry. The emphasis here is on purity with barely a trace of new oak (5-10 percent) to distract from the fruit flavors. Better yet, at 13.5 percent alcohol, you can enjoy a glass or two without worrying about what tomorrow may bring.