Sine Qua Non

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Sine Qua Non (SQN) Backward & Forward 1998 750mL
RP90(HG)
Sine Qua Non (SQN) Eleven Confessions 17th Nail & Naked Truth Assortment 2005 6-Pack OWC 750mL (4 Nail/2 Naked)
Tasting Notes

  • 2005 SQN 17th Nail and Naked Truth Assortment - 17th Nail - Wine Advocate # 184 - Aug 2009: The 2005 Syrah The 17th Nail In My Cranium, a blend of 96.5% Syrah and 3.5% Viognier which is aged 38 months prior to bottling. (I always wonder what Marcel Guigal would think of a wine like this which seems to tip its hat in the direction of Cote Rotie and then goes into high gear and clearly says, Im just something very different, but thanks for even thinking of that appellation while smelling and tasting me.) Black as a moonless night, the 2005 17th Nail reveals a stunning nose of spring flowers intermixed with creme de cassis, blackberries, charcoal, graphite, and hints of lard and barbecue spices. Dense, with an endless (and I mean endless) finish, remarkable purity, and layer upon layer of flavor, but no sense of heaviness or flabbiness, this prodigious Syrah should evolve for 15 or more years. SQN Naked Truth - 99 Pts - Wine Advocate # 184 - Aug 2009: The 2005 The Naked Truth (a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah) displays a backside portrait of Manfred Krankls wife, Elaine. (Krankl does all the artwork for his labels.) Approximately 38% whole clusters/stems were used during fermentation, and the wine is aged in a combination of small barrels and larger demi-muids. Contrary to everything I have learned about Grenache, this offering spends 38 months in wood, yet it shows no evidence of oak, and it possesses remarkable vibrancy and freshness. Its the kind of wine that makes a mockery of all conventional wisdom about oak and Grenache. Made totally from fruit grown in the 11 Confessions Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills, it is about as profound a Grenache as one is likely to taste. Krankl looks everywhere for inspiration, and there is a large picture (and I mean large) of the great southern Rhone oenologist, Philippe Cambie, hanging in the winery. There may be a spiritual kinship to what Cambies magic is unleashing in the southern Rhone and what Krankl is doing in California. The dense ruby/plum/purple-colored Naked Truth reveals an extraordinary bouquet of sweet black raspberries, boysenberries, kirsch, licorice, pepper, and spice. Full-bodied with noteworthy concentration, freshness, texture, and length, it is a tour de force as well as a mind-boggling example of Grenache that is likely to turn heads, but how many wine lovers have the guts, courage, and are willing to put up with the tiny yields and challenging maturity curve of Grenache in California to pull off something like this? Not many. Thats why we dont see more than a handful of wines such as this emanating from California.
RP97-100
Sine Qua Non (SQN) Inaugural Grenache & Syrah Assortment 2003 6-
Tasting Notes

  • 2003 Sine Qua Non - Wine Advocate #172 - Aug 2007: The mind-boggling 2003 The Inaugural Syrah is an emotional experience to taste as well as drink. Aged 38 ? months in French oak, it was fashioned entirely from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard, which is planted with Syrah clones #470, 174, and the Estrella River and Alban field selections. This stunning Syrah boasts a magnificent bouquet of spring flowers, blueberries, blackberries, charcoal, licorice, and roasted meats. It hits the palate with remarkable intensity, purity, and full-bodied power, but it somehow manages to dance across the taste buds with the gracefulness of a ballerina. Awesomely long, I still tasted this wine 60 seconds after I had spit it out no easy task, even for a professional. This majestic Syrah should be a modern day legacy for Sine Qua Non, ranking alongside the other stunning Syrahs they have produced, such as the two 2002 cuvees, Just For The Love Of It and Heart Chorea. This is a nuanced, complex wine, whereas the 2004 Poker Face is more exuberant and flamboyant. It should age beautifully for 10-15+ years. The recently released 2003 The Inaugural (90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, the first vintage from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard) is a stunning effort. Boasting superb intensity and purity, it spent 38 months in French oak, and has taken on mind-boggling nuances and subtleties. It is a huge wine dominated by black cherry, blackberry, and cassis fruit, but also offering notions of plums, figs, soy, smoke, and roasted meat-like notes. The wines enormous complexity, silky, full-bodied, voluptuous texture, and remarkable finish suggest it will last over a decade, but who can resist it now? It hits all the palates and olfactory glands sweet spots, a hedonistic and intellectual joy
RP100/RP100

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