What: Syncline Wine Cellars Grenache-Carignan Horse Heaven Hills 2013 $25
Why: Since syrah was first planted at Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley in 1986, it has gone on to become Washington’s third most planted red grape and also creates some of the state’s best wines. More recently, however, a number of wineries have been exploring other varieties native to France’s Rhone Valley. Few, however, are exploring the breadth of these varieties as successfully as Syncline Wine Cellars.
A perfect example of this is the Syncline Wine Cellars Grenache-Carignan Horse Heaven Hills 2013 ($25). Carignan often plays a bit part in blends in France, and few in Washington are working with the variety. Here it makes it makes up almost half of this blend, lending a wild, savory character. Meanwhile grenache brings its hallmark raspberry aromas and flavors. The neutral French oak aging puts a focus on the fruit’s purity, which hums like a tuning fork. It’s a complete knee buckler.