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Sineann Wines

Sineann

Sineann is a small producer of highly sought after wine in Yamhill County, Oregon. Winemaker Peter Rosback sources his fruit from some of the best vineyards in the region; Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley and the Hood River Valley, Cabernet, Merlot and Zinfandel from the Columbia Valley, Gewurztraminer from the Willamette Valley and the Columbia Gorge.

A family winery, owner and winemaker Peter Rosback has kept his operation small. His focus is 100% winemaking, and over the years, with little PR, more and more people have sought out his tiny combination lab/tasting room. His followers love the big, dense, rich style that is his trademark.

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Sineann Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton Resonance Reserve 2012

Sorry it sold out in less than an hour! Call for wait list.

VERY LIMITED Sold out at the winery, only 7...


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$53.95

$59.95 Regular

Sineann Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton Resonance 2012

Wine Spectator 93 points: Vibrant and expansive, with fine tannins underlining the dark berry, clotted cr...


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$43.16

$47.95 Regular

Sineann Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2011

Peter says: "The Columbia Valley Cabernet is a blend of the wine that don't make the cut. It's always a One of the oldes...


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$31.46

$34.95 Regular

Sineann Pinot Noir "Oak Ridge" Organic 09

Sineann's organic vintage from the Oak Ridge vineyard. ...


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$17.95

$19.95 Regular

Sineann Gewurztraminer Resonance Vineyard 2012

LAST CALL!

Pale straw in color, spicy perfume of lychee and guava fruit on the nose, sweet clearing ...


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$17.95

$19.95 Regular

Sineann Pinot Gris Wyeast 2012

The new vintage is concentrated with pear, kiwi, citrus peel, and orange blossom scent and flavor. A racy acidity pairs ...


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$18.86

$20.95 Regular

Sineann Cross Check 2011

This red blend is sure to delight the palate. This great value is another of Peter's offerings that displays his talented...


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$17.95

$19.95 Regular

Sineann Abondante 2011

The 2011 blend consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel. Dark red fruit flavors with a tou...


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$21.55

$23.95 Regular

Sineann Sweet Sydney 2011 375 ml

Sweet Sydney is a Zinfandel Ice Wine named for the winemaker's beautiful and, well, sweet daughter, Sydney. Freezing Zinf...


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$21.55

$23.95 Regular

Sineann Pinor noir "Oregon" 2011 375ml

Half bottle.

If you're a serious Pinot Head, then you already know about Sineann, the small dedicated producer in Yam...


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$14.35

$15.95 Regular

Sineann Pinot Noir Ice Dance 2011 375 ml

This is the first vintage of the Pinot Noir Ice Dance. It has flavors and aromatics of watermelon and strawberries. The sw...


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$21.55

$23.95 Regular

Sineann Pinot noir Yates-Conwill Vineyard 2011

2010 Vintage Tasting Notes

The winery calls this a "gorgeous" wine. Fruit forward, this is made ...


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$32.36

$35.95 Regular

Sineann Red Table Wine 2011

Sineann Red Table Wine consists of everything left after all the single vineyard wines were made, it's all in there. Grea...


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$14.35

$15.95 Regular

Sineann Pinot Noir "Oak Ridge" Organic 09

Sineann's organic vintage from the Oak Ridge vineyard. ...


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$22.18

$24.65 Regular

Sineann Pinot Noir "Oregon" 2012

If you're a serious Pinot Head, then you already know about Sineann, the small dedicated producer in Yamhill County, Ore....


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$26.95

$29.95 Regular

Sineann Pinot noir Wyeast 09

Smoke and caramel combine in the enticing aroma of this Pinot noir. Flavors are clean and fresh - red raspberry, red cher...


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$32.36

$35.95 Regular

Sineann Old Vine Zinfandel 2012

This is a dark, aromatic wine from the Pines Vineyard in the Columbia Valley. The mouthfeel is huge and the finish is lo...


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$35.05

$38.95 Regular

Sineann White Table Wine 2011

Check back for tasting notes. We are eager to try the 2011 and compare it to previous vintages.

The 2010 vintage, most...


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$11.65

$12.95 Regular

Sineann Merlot Champoux Vineyard 2012

Champoux -- what else do you need to know? From the top-notch vineyard site comes this intense Merlot that is dark and pow...


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$32.36

$35.95 Regular

Sineann Pinot noir Schindler 09

One of my favorite Sineann Pinots from any Vintage. Remarkable balance for such a rich Pinot. The blackberry and cherry fr...


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$37.76

$41.95 Regular

Sineann "Old Ball and Chain" Dessert Wine 375 ml

Peter makes two dessert wines, named for his two daughters. It was suggested that he make a dessert wine named for his del...


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$21.60

$24.00 Regular

Sineann Block One Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

96 points Wine Enthusiast, Cellar Selection: "Block One is the original (1972) planting at Champoux, and it has anchored m...


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$64.75

$71.95 Regular

Sineann "Precious" Late Hvt Gewurztraminer 08 375 ml

Whoa, this puts the "sweet" in sweet wine. A mere 43% residual sugar, the Late Harvest Gewurztraminer is an incredibly...


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$21.55

$23.95 Regular

Sineann Cabernet Sauvignon Baby Poux Reserve 08

The two best barrels of Baby Poux Cabernet were kept for this special Reserve bottling. More intensity and creaminess, ...


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$62.95

$69.95 Regular

Sineann Cabernet Sauvignon Baby Poux 2012

Intense aromas of creamy black cherry, bittersweet chocolate, and a hint of dried herbs. Super dense in the mouth, with f...


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$37.76

$41.95 Regular

Sineann CJ Port 09 375 ml

2006 Vintage Tasting Notes

From the winemaker: "CJ gets its name from the winemaker's energe...


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$21.55

$23.95 Regular

More About Sineann Wines

At right, Peter, wife Nancy, daughter Sydney

Peter’s focus in the vineyard is to get ripe and balanced fruit; in the cellar it’s to wring from the fruit focused flavors and ripe, controlled tannins. “I’m trying to ratchet-up flavor intensity,” he says simply.

A key strategy is to keep crop sizes low. “Cropping low increases the intensity of the fruit you get,” Peter explains, “it gives you more minerality—which I notice more in the whites—and the fruit ripens faster because there’s less work for the plant to do. So in every way cropping low plays to making more intense wines."

For example, Peter recently took an acre of what he considers his best pinot gris vineyard and cropped to a single ton of fruit—just one cluster per shoot.  While this is not uncommon for the most expensive pinot noirs, it is highly unusual for the lower-priced pinot gris

.“It’s a tremendous wine,” Peter says of the results, “but I’ll probably lose money on it. Yet when I taste the fruit and the wine side-by-side, I have to ask why I’d bother doing anything else, it is so good!”

Sineann's Peter Rosback: An Individual Winemaking Style

Peter’s winemaking style is to produce wines that are full-flavored and somewhat approachable upon release.

Winemaking at Sineann is well recognized as meticulous. All fruit is hand sorted, delicately destemmed, punched down by hand, gently pressed and gravity racked. The wines are aged in new and one year old French oak.

Sineann owner and winemaker Rosback was bitten by the urge to produce wine in the mid 1990's. He worked harvest at Elk Cove and other wineries, and decided to start his own winery after meeting fellow winelover David O'Reilly. With Irish heritage and love of good wine in common, the two men struck a partnership and created Sineann.

"David has a great palate and is one of the best marketing people in the state," Rosback said. "We're a good team. Each of us brings talents to the table to produce the best wine we can. Of course, it starts with great fruit, and that also has to be the best we can get."

In addition to Sineann, Rosback also makes wines for Medici, where the owners allow Sineann to be produced. He also consults with O'Reilly on Owen Roe and O'Reilly Cellars.

"Peter brings an irrepressible passion to everything he does," O'Reilly said. "I think that's why we are such good partners."

O'Reilly and Rosback left Elk Cove in 1998 to produce wines in relatively small quantities. While Sineann is produced at Medici, O'Reilly has little niches and spots for producing Owen Roe and O'Reilly Cellars. He spends a great deal of time on the road, from spot to spot, overseeing production. He and Rosback purchase grapes from the Willamette Valley to Hood River to Walla Walla and Columbia valleys in Washington state.

The good news comes in the form of a converted barn. Next year, he will have his own facility for Owen Roe and O'Reilly Cellars. Sineann will continue production at Medici for the time being.

"I will be happy to have one location to produce my wines," he added.

Just about everything produced under the Sineann label is excellent and a value compared to comparable Californian wine. Zinfandel grapes come from a 100-year-old vineyard in Washington. Pinot Noir grapes come from the best growers in Oregon.

Both Rosback severely limits yields to produce such intense wine. It keeps quantities low, but the winemaker is not interested in expanding production.

Sineann produces single vineyard, highly crafted Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. White wines include Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris.

Sineann Winery Cab

The Yamhill County Winery Association has this to say about Sineann:

"Sineann is passionate about producing the most intense, flavorful wines from a handful of great vineyards. Sineann sources Zinfandel from the only 100 year-old vineyard in the Northwest, Cabernet Sauvignon from one of Washington’s oldest vineyards and Pinot noir and Pinot gris from a pair of Yamhill County’s best Pinot vineyards as well as some other gems. Crop sizes are miniscule; the wines handcrafted. Good luck finding any Sineann wines!"

Wine Today had this to say:

"Sineann was founded in 1994 by David O'Reilly and Peter Rosback, two individuals fascinated by the potential that well-managed vineyards in the Columbia Valley offer. Working closely with growers, they severely limit yields to maximize the intensity of the fruit they harvest. The Old Vine Zinfandel is a fine wine for medium aging. It has striking berry flavours when young and softens with three years of bottle age. The Sineann Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a single vineyard known as Block One, among the oldest in the Columbia Valley, and is a full-bodied, sturdy, age-worthy red."

Read Related Articles

Sineann's Peter Rosback-
Interview 2006

Sineann-
A True NW Winery

The Wines of Sineann Continue to Shine

 

The Vineyards of Sineann's Wines

Able Vineyard

Able is a very small vineyard of organically grown Pinot noir in the emerging Hood River Valley.   The Columbia Gorge is a unique AVA where marine air meets desert air over Mt. Hood.  Planted in 2000, there are 3 acres of established Pommard and Dijon clone Pinot Noir on a [VSP] vertical shoot positioning trellis system.  The vineyard is on a steep, south facing slope where the soil is mostly sandy loam.  The elevation is relatively low for the Hood River Valley, only 1000 feet in elevation and with the predominance of early ripening Dijon clones [777,113 & 115].  There will be years that warmer lower elevation with the quick to ripen fruit will produce spectacular small lots of wine.  Sineann sampled some of John Able’s fruit in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2005 that any quantity was brought in.  The flavors were delicate and unique enough to receive a single vineyard designation in 2005.

Whistling Ridge

 

Whistling Ridge Vineyards are located west of Newburg, Oregon in Yamhill County. In 1988 the 10 of the 20 acres on this farm were cleared of walnut and fir trees to make way for planting grape vines. In 1999 an additional 30 acres were purchased one mile north along Ribbon Ridge right above Beaux Frères and Patricia Green Cellars.  The vines thrive on Willakenzie silty clay loam, running north to south, in an altitude of 450 ft.. A Double Guyot training system with a spacing of 5 by 7 feet is used. All fruit is ‘dry farmed’ meaning no irrigation is used at all.  The Pinot noir made from this site is dense, wild, brambly and full of flavor.  With neighbors like Breaux Frères, Patty Green and Brick House, this vineyard site is in good company.

In 1989 a block of Chardonnay 108 clone was planted. In 1990 first block of Pinot Noir plants were put into the ground, a variety of Waidensville and Pomard clones. The owners are replanting the original 1989 block with Pinot Noir and 96 and 76 Dijon clone Chardonnay.

More than 15 acres of vines are now planted including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. For experimentation and fun, the owners maintain in small quantities some Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Muscat, Schonburger, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Blanc.   Whistling Ridge grapes are purchased by Sineann, Patricia Green Cellars, Belle Pente and Natalie's Estate Winery.

Oregon winery

Lachini Vineyard

photo above

Lachini Vineyard's forty-five acres are located near Newberg, Oregon in the Chehalem Mountain AVA. The gently sloping vineyard is comprised of Willakenzie soils-ranging from 18 to 48 inches in depth at an elevation of 350 – 400 feet. The shallow, fine silt loam over sedimentary rock has lower water capacity due to its sandy consistency and thus forces the vines to compete and develop deep root systems. The emerging terror of these dark-brown to yellowish-brown soils reveal Pinot noir wines with strong earthy notes, chocolate, and a delicate flavor of anise and spice.

The property was purchased in 1998 and planted the first five acres with Pommard clone Pinot noir in June of 1999. In the following growing seasons, Lachini planted additional blocks that now entail just over 20 acres of planted Pinot noir. Most recent plantings include Dijon and Wadenswil clones. Lachini Vineyard currently has fifteen acres bearing fruit. Over the next five years, the entire vineyard will come into full production, with maximum planting to 30 acres on this site. Vineyard spacing is 4' X 6" or roughly 1700 vines per acre, which forces the vines to compete and low cropping keeps the flavors concentrated to premium quality wines.

Lachini Vineyards are hand-farmed using sustainable agriculture and organic practices prescribed by Oregon LIVE. Low Input Viticulture and Enology, Inc. program (LIVE, Inc.) is a program providing vineyards and wineries official recognition for sustainable agricultural practices that are modeled after international standards such as the practice of botanical diversity in the cover crop and management practices that favor beneficial insects. 

Wyeast Vineyard

The Wyeast vineyard high up in the Hood River Valley was planted in 1989 with 10 acres of Pinot gris and in 1990, 8 acres of Pinot noir.   The south and southwest facing slopes are covered with deep red volcanic soil, and like many vineyards today, are dry farmed allowing the vintage and weather to really show through.   The high elevation vineyard ranges from 1600 feet at the base to 1800 feet at the top of the vineyard and allows form some nice acids to form in support of the terrific structure and dense lush flavors that come out of this vineyard.  Wyeast is one of three vineyards in the Columbia Gorge that Sineann receives Pinot noir from and also provides some of their best Pinot gris as well.   Winemaker Rosback thinks that the Hood River Valley can be one of the best places in Oregon to grow Pinot noir.  Anyone who tries the Wyeast Pinot noir from Sineann might well agree. 

Maresh Vineyard

The Maresh Vineyard is situated high in the Dundee Hills on a beautiful south-facing slope. Planted in 1970 by Jim and Loie Maresh, this is the 5th oldest vineyard in Oregon, and the oldest on Worden Hill Rd. in the new Dundee Hills AVA.  Few Oregon winemakers ever get to work with truly “old vines” Pinot noir.  Peter Rosback has known the Maresh family for years and was lucky enough to access a mix of older Pommard and newer Dijon 115 fruit in 2005.

The Pommard clone often has the most lush mouth feel, and is approachable early on. The fruit in these wines is always big, black cherry, with the tannins balanced by lush fruit. The Wadenswil clone is always very spicy and floral, but has more elegance and focus than the Pommard; it often adds the core of structure and brightness to the blend. Also exciting is the fruit from the Dijon Clone 115, with full, juicy aromas of black berry and cherry.  These clonal components yield a complete wine that is lush and rich upfront, and nicely structured in the mid-mouth, with a chewy tannin finish.

Most importantly, even the newest plantings of Pinot noir at this site, carry the qualities that are so distinctive from this vineyard. Each block of Maresh Pinot noir contributes a special and unique flavor to the wine. The overall component that seems to be consistent throughout the vineyard is a green peppercorn note when the wine is very young. Over the course of ten months of barrel aging, this aroma integrates, and develops a rich, oily sage note, distinctive only to Maresh.   

Covey Ridge Vineyard

 Located on a ridge above Banks, Oregon this is the most northern spot in the Willamette Valley from which Sineann acquires Pinot noir. The six and a half acre vineyard is mostly Dijon clone Pinot noir with a bit of Pinot gris.   Planted in 1995, another eight acres will be planted in the fall of 2006.  The vineyard is a Jory type clay under 16 inch of loam.  It sits at 600 feet elevation.   Good Northwesterly winds keep the site free of frost and still air.   The entire site is dry farmed which brings out the mirror of the weather that year, in the fruit.

Fellow winemaker Dick Ferraro recommended this vineyard back in the 90’s, so Rosback picked up a small quantity of Pinot gris grape and included them in a line up along with a few other test batch vineyards.  The Covey Ridge stood out as an excellent vineyard.  1999 was the first Pinot gris vintage for Sineann from Covey Ridge and it’s been in the array along with several other single vineyard Pinot gris ever since.

In 2000, Rosback decided to try the Pinot noir from the site.  What resulted was a spicy Pinot noir with layers of blackberry, cherry and a touch of anise.  Small quantities of the Pinot noir are made every year and it sells out quickly. 

Phelps Creek Vineyard

The Columbia Gorge AVA is really hitting its stride and grower Bob Morus’ vineyard is among the best in the Hood River Valley. The cool marine weather from the Oregon coast and valley meets the warm desert air over the Hood River valley making for a unique cool weather climate perfect for apples, pears and grapes.   Bob’s vineyard is on the west side of the valley that in years past, the pear growers avoided due to the poor soils.  Those soils happened to be just perfect for growing grapes.  Seventy five feet of volcanic loam, called Oak Grove Loam make up the majority of the soil, mixed in with a fair amount of clay.  Not a rock in sight though.

Fifteen of the 60 acres were planted in 1990 with a combination of Pommard and Dijon clone Pinot noir and four acres of Chardonnay.  An underlying minerality is a hallmark of this vineyard in both Pinot noir and Chardonnay.  Rosback has Morus crop Sineann’s Pinot noir blocks to a ton and a half per acre, which results in a concentrated wine with notes of blue fruit, dark cherry and a coco/tobacco notes.  The Chardonnay, cropped to two tons per acre, when fermented in stainless steel has a bright Myers lemon quality to it and when oaked, tropical pineapple notes although Rosback has almost completely forsaken barrel aged Chardonnay in favor of 100% stainless steel renditions.  Recently fifteen acres have been leased in adjoining land taking the vineyard to 30 planted acres.

When the Willamette Valley was hammered with hot weather in 2003 or wet weather in 2005, the Hood River Valley and the Columbia Gorge AVA continued to produce stellar and consistent fruit that rivals the Willamette Valley.  Keep an eye on this AVA as the wines coming out of this area will only continue to improve.

Resonance Vineyard

The vineyard is located in Oregon's northern Willamette Valley on a south-facing hillside in Yamhill County, just west of Carlton. The vineyard is in the new Yamhill-Carlton District AVA.  The Resonance Vineyard sits on a convex portion of a low, west-east oriented ridge emerging out of the Coast Range. The ridge is hook-shaped, wrapping around to the east. The much higher High Heaven Ridge protects the property from the south. Panther Creek flows through the valley created between High Heaven and Resonance. The Coast Range rises immediately to the west of the property, creating a formidable weather barrier. As a result, Resonance is protected from inclement weather and wind on all sides, making it a particularly warm, dry site.

Soils are primarily Willakenzie and Yamhill, but there are areas with virtually no top soil that can only be labeled as shale rock land. The Willakenzie and exposed shale are both old sedimentary deposits that begin at the bottom of the slope. The Yamhill is an ancient, submarine basaltic soil (much older than the more common, basalt-derived Jory and Nekia soils in the Dundee Hills). The Yamhill soil is found near the top of the slope and much of the crown is exposed, broken basalt bedrock.

The wet winters coupled with soils of sufficient water-holding capacity allow dry farming of vines. And the warm summers provide more than adequate heat to fully ripen the fruit. The growing season is very long (over 210 days) and dry which keeps disease and insect pressures at a minimum.

The entire vineyard is on a vertical, upright, shoot-positioned trellis (commonly called a VSP). Spacing on the oldest vines is 8 feet between rows and 6 feet between vines, leaving 908 vines per acre. The most recent plantings are set at 7.5 feet between rows and 5 feet between plants or 1162 vines per acre and 7.5 feet by 4 feet or 1452 vines per acre. All vines are cane pruned with very low head heights of 18-24." The trellis is 6.5 feet high allowing the canopy to grow as high as 7.5 feet before being hedged (which occurs only once). This allows for a large leaf area to accommodate adequate ripening even in cool vintages.

The coarse-grained, ancient marine sediments native to the area are the oldest soils in the valley. These soils drain quickly establishing a natural deficit-irrigation effect. Thus, the vines stop vegetative growth earlier here than elsewhere, leading to more complete ripening, even in cooler growing seasons. This allows Pinot noir to develop deep ruby colors and broad, silky tannins. The mouth-filling wines exude powerful fruit aromas of raspberry, blackberry and black cherries complexed by minerality reminiscent of pipe tobacco, espresso, clove and dark chocolate and accented by scents of rose, violet, lavender and sweet wood smoke. These are alluring, complex, supple gems of Pinot noir to sip and savor.

The vineyard consists of 4 acres of Pommard Pinot noir, 2.5 acres of Pommard Pinot noir (grafted from Muller-Thurgau in 2000) and 1.5 acres of Gewurztraminer all originally planted in 1981, plus 3.5 acres of Wadensvil Pinot noir planted in 1987 and 2 acres of 777 Pinot noir (grafted from Pinot Gris) planted in 1995. An additional 6.5 acres of Pinot noir (evenly split between Wadensvil and Pommard clones) was planted in the spring of 2006.

Until June of 2003, Resonance was named Reed & Reynolds Vineyard. Reed is owner Kevin Chambers middle name, and has been the middle name of the first-born male of his family for several generations. Reynolds is Carla Chambers’ maiden name. The Chambers felt the two names offered a pleasant and memorable alliteration, as well as designated their partnership and teamwork that created the vineyard. Nevertheless, after a protracted and expensive trademark battle with a California winery, the Chambers chose to change the name to Resonance.

Virtually all the vines are own-rooted. Of course, this leaves them at risk to phylloxera. But Biodynamic practices, a strong nutritional program and commitment to a diverse, healthy microbial community in the soil significantly mitigates the disease risk. The Chambers believe that plants should be grown on their own root systems rather than be grafted to other species' roots. They feel this leads to healthier plants, better drought tolerance and greater wine quality. A few grafted vines have been planted for experimental purposes, but the intent is to sustain an own-rooted vineyard. At 25 years of age in the oldest blocks, the vines are now yielding profoundly complex wines. It is the Chambers' intent to maintain this "old vine character" in the wines for as long as possible.

Year in and year out, the Resonance vineyard supplies the fruit for Sineann’s best Pinot noir.  In 2003, Wine Spectator gave the Sineann Resonance Pinot noir 94 points.  In 2004, the Pommard clone barrels supplied the fruit for Sineann’s first French Laundry Cuvee.  For 2005, this wine is yet another stunning example of the flavors and complexity that winemaker Rosback can coax out of a well kept vineyard.

Schindler Vineyard

The Schindler Vineyard is in the Eloa Hills area of Oregon’s Willamette Valley and has just recently converted to Biodynamic practices, which are akin to going organic with a bit of witchcraft thrown in for good measure.  There are 14 acres of Pinot noir and 6 acres of Chardonnay.  The vines are now 14 years old and this is the third year that Sineann has received fruit from this vineyard. The first year Schindler fruit went into the Oregon blend.  2004 was the first single vineyard designate and really showed its stuff.  This year, select fruit from the Schindler Vineyard was bottled privately for the French Laundry, so you know the vineyard has something special going on.  Grape grower and practicing doctor Robert Schindler thinks Oregon Pinot noir is setting a new paradigm for the grape and can show Burgundy a thing or two about how this noble grape shines in New World cool climates.

The Pines Vineyard

This vineyard, 4 miles south of The Dalles, is where Sineann gets their fabulous Zinfandel grapes.  In 1983 Lonnie Wright returned from orchard work in Libya and stumbled across 8 acres of Zinfandel planted in the early 1900’s.  With this long neglected vineyard he started his vineyard management company and planted grapes for Terry McDuffee, Herald Haake and others to where he now has 20 acres of his own planted with Zinfandel, Syrah and Merlot.

In 1987 Wright planted 5 acres of Zinfandel using cuttings off the original Old Vine Zinfandel.  Now those grapes are now 19 years old and are used by Sineann to make their ‘Z’ young vine Zinfandel.  This hard scrabble vineyard is filled with Columbia Valley loam on a steep hillside with a 26% grade.  The old vine Zinfandel roots have drilled deep into the ancient sandstone and basalt providing minerality and complexity to the wine made from these grapes.  The 600 foot elevation, hot days and cool nights bring out the best of this warm weather grape variety defying the stereotype that good Zinfandel can only be made in California.  

Today, Lonnie Wright manages over 175 acres of grapes for over 15 vineyards in the Hood River and Dalles area.  His pride and joy remains his old vine Zinfandel grapes, the oldest producing vineyard in the Pacific Northwest.  Peter Rosback has worked with these grapes for 14 years now and makes one of the most highly sought after cult wines around.

Winemaking at Sineann

Winemaking at Sineann is well recognized as meticulous. All fruit is hand sorted, delicately destemmed, punched down by hand, gently pressed and gravity racked. The wines are aged in new and one year old French oak.

Sineann owner and winemaker Rosback was bitten by the urge to produce wine in the mid 1990's. He worked harvest at Elk Cove and other wineries, and decided to start his own winery after meeting fellow winelover David O'Reilly. With Irish heritage and love of good wine in common, the two men struck a partnership and created Sineann.

"David has a great palate and is one of the best marketing people in the state," Rosback said. "We're a good team. Each of us brings talents to the table to produce the best wine we can. Of course, it starts with great fruit, and that also has to be the best we can get."

In addition to Sineann, Rosback also makes wines for Medici, where the owners allow Sineann to be produced. He also consults with O'Reilly on Owen Roe and O'Reilly Cellars.

"Peter brings an irrepressible passion to everything he does," O'Reilly said. "I think that's why we are such good partners."

O'Reilly and Rosback left Elk Cove in 1998 to produce wines in relatively small quantities. While Sineann is produced at Medici, O'Reilly has little niches and spots for producing Owen Roe and O'Reilly Cellars. He spends a great deal of time on the road, from spot to spot, overseeing production. He and Rosback purchase grapes from the Willamette Valley to Hood River to Walla Walla and Columbia valleys in Washington state.

The good news comes in the form of a converted barn. Next year, he will have his own facility for Owen Roe and O'Reilly Cellars. Sineann will continue production at Medici for the time being.

"I will be happy to have one location to produce my wines," he added.

Just about everything produced under the Sineann label is excellent and a value compared to comparable Californian wine. Zinfandel grapes come from a 100-year-old vineyard in Washington. Pinot Noir grapes come from the best growers in Oregon.

Both Rosback severely limits yields to produce such intense wine. It keeps quantities low, but the winemaker is not interested in expanding production.

Sineann produces single vineyard, highly crafted Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. White wines include Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris.

The Yamhill County Winery Association has this to say about Sineann:

"Sineann is passionate about producing the most intense, flavorful wines from a handful of great vineyards. Sineann sources Zinfandel from the only 100 year-old vineyard in the Northwest, Cabernet Sauvignon from one of Washington’s oldest vineyards and Pinot noir and Pinot gris from a pair of Yamhill County’s best Pinot vineyards as well as some other gems. Crop sizes are miniscule; the wines handcrafted. Good luck finding any Sineann wines!"

Wine Today had this to say:

"Sineann was founded in 1994 by David O'Reilly and Peter Rosback, two individuals fascinated by the potential that well-managed vineyards in the Columbia Valley offer. Working closely with growers, they severely limit yields to maximize the intensity of the fruit they harvest. The Old Vine Zinfandel is a fine wine for medium aging. It has striking berry flavours when young and softens with three years of bottle age. The Sineann Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a single vineyard known as Block One, among the oldest in the Columbia Valley, and is a full-bodied, sturdy, age-worthy red."

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