Coming all from Manfred's Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and a blend of 77% Grenache, 22% Syrah and 1% Viognier (fermented with 25% whole clusters), the 2011 Grenache Patine spent a full 33 months in almost all neutral oak, with just 11% being new. It offers perfumed and spice-laced notes of white pepper, black raspberry, blackberry and ground herbs that flow to a full-bodied, elegant, nicely concentrated 2011 that has nicely integrated acidity, no hard edges and a terrific finish. It's certainly one of the fresher, more elegant Grenaches from Manfred, yet it still has rocking levels of fruit. Give it 2-3 years of cellaring and enjoy bottles over the following decade.
There are few greater success stories in wine than that of Sine Qua Non’s Manfred Krankl. Austrian-born and showing up penniless in Los Angeles in 1980, he went on to create one of the greatest wine estates in the world today by sheer talent and work ethic. Despite being involved in a horrific motorcycle accident in September of 2014, he’s recovering admirably and was in great spirits during my visit.
Looking at his latest releases, the 2011 extended-aged cuvees all show the cooler nature of the vintage, yet had phenomenal levels concentration and firm, tannic spines. I’m not sure they’re a step up over the earlier 2011 releases, but they’re without a doubt some of the top wines in the vintage. The 2012s are big, ripe and voluptuous wines more in the style of 2009s, yet perhaps with slightly less exuberance. The real shocker was the quality of the Next Of Kyn releases. These come all from his estate vineyard located around the winery in Oak View. I was blown away by both the ’11 and ’12, with the ’12 being the greatest wine yet from the estate.