Sineann’s Peter Rosback…a Jack of Many Vineyards

By Kori ~ November 30th, 2011.

Peter Rosback is one of the most well-known and well-respected winemakers in the Pacific Northwest. Rosback got his start in winemaking in 1985 as a home winemaker experimenting with Pinot Noir. In 1986, he began making Old Vine Zinfandel from The Pines Vineyard. Rosback entered the wine business commercially in 1994 when he and David O’Reilly founded Sineann (pronounced “shuh-nayn”) Winery. O’Reilly went on to start his own Owen Roe Winery, and Rosback has continued with Sineann. Today, Sineann produces between 10,000 and 12,000 cases annually.

While Sineann is located in Newberg, Oregon, in the heart of Pinot Noir country, and Rosback got his start with that grape, his portfolio of wines includes much more than Pinot. Almost all of his wines are single-vineyard designated from vineyards in Oregon, Washington, California, and even New Zealand. Sineann’s Sauvignon Blanc is closed with a screwcap while all of the other wines are sealed with glass closures.

We had the pleasure to visit Sineann during a recent visit to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. I highly encourage you to do the same the next time you are in the area. We tasted a total of 17 wines. Our favorites were the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Baby Poux from Champoux Vineyards in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills and the 2008 The Precious Late Harvest Gewurztraminer from the Columbia Gorge. Both are outstanding. Sineann also makes another dessert wine that I would love to try called Sweet Sydney, named for one of Rosback’s daughters. Sydney just happens to be the name of our daughter, too. Sweet Sydney is a limited production Zinfandel icewine, and, unfortunately for us, was all sold out when we visited. As you will see from my notes and ratings below, Sineann produces a number of wines worth checking out if you see them on the shelf at your local wine shop or on a restaurant wine list.

Our favorites:

2009 Sineann Cabernet Sauvignon Baby Poux Vineyard (Columbia Valley): Deep, dark purplish red in color. Nice nose with blackberry, black cherry, chocolate, and coffee aromas. Big black fruits, chocolate, and espresso bean comes through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied and lively with big yet smooth tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $42; Available elsewhere, $36 to $62

2008 Sineann The Precious Late Harvest Gewurztraminer (Columbia Gorge): Light amber brown color. Extremely aromatic with honey, caramel, prune, and dried apricot on both the nose and palate. Very sweet and sticky, medium to full-bodied with good acidity, and a long, yummy white peach finish. Residual Sugar: 43%
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $24 [375ml]; Available elsewhere, $23 to $25

Here’s a breakdown of the rest of the wines that we tasted during our visit:

Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
2008 Sineann Cabernet Sauvignon Sugarloaf Mountain, California, $42, QPR: 5
2007 Sineann Pinot Noir Lachini, Willamette Valley, $36, QPR: 4
2009 Sineann Old Vine Zinfandel, Columbia Valley, $39, QPR: 4
2009 Sineann Petit Verdot, Champoux Vineyard, Columbia Valley, $48, QPR: 2

Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
2009 Sineann Abondante Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $24, QPR: 4
2008 Sineann Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $30, QPR: 4
2007 Sineann Pinot Noir Schindler, Willamette Valley, $36, QPR: 4
2009 Sineann Merlot Champoux, Columbia Valley, $36, QPR: 3
2010 Sineann Pinot Noir Resonance, Yamhill-Carlton, $42, QPR: 3
2010 Sineann Pinot Noir Yates Conwill, Yamhill-Carlton, $42, QPR: 3
2010 Sineann Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, $20, QPR: 2

Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
2009 Sineann Cross-Check Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $20, QPR: 4
2009 Sineann CJ Port Zinfandel, Columbia Valley, $24, QPR: 3
2009 Sineann Pinot Noir, Oregon, $30, QPR: 3
2010 Sineann Gewurztraminer Resonance, Willamette Valley, $18, QPR: 2

Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wine, Dessert Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, New Zealand Wine, Oregon Wine, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Port, Red Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Vineyards, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wine Travel, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25, Zinfandel

Reader's Comments

  1. bill denman | December 1st, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Recently, Halloween, visited Newburg and the fine folks at Sineann, Peter was out but had a great time. I’ve enjoyed since the ’05 vintage and all of his wines are worth seeking out. His reserves are something else!!! Like a sculpturer, Peter crafts his wines with love and balance, extracting what he can but at the same time letting the grapes do the talking. Barrel sampling with him is a thing of beauty. Great story on a wonderful and passionate person.

  2. Kori | December 6th, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing your Sineann experience and for your kind words. Cheers!

  3. nathan | November 4th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Peter is the next Helen Turley.