2003 Sine Qua Non - Wine Advocate # 166, Aug 2006: Other than Alban Vineyards, no California winery makes better Grenache than SQN. Manfred Krankl has produced some magnificent examples, including the 2003 Lil E (named after his adorable wife, Elaine) is a blend of 78% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre, and 10% Syrah. Half of the grapes are from the Eleven Confessions home vineyard and the rest are from the Alban, Alta Mesa, and Bien Nacido sites. This cuvee is aged primarily in 300 liter hogsheads, and, because of extremely tiny yields, only a minuscule 150 cases were produced. It boasts a deep ruby/purple hue, a wild mountain berry fruit, blueberry, flower, and kirsch-scented nose, superb intensity, full body, good underlying acidity, and sneaky tannins lurking under the surface. The latter component does not preclude drinking this wine now, but this brilliant Grenache will last for 6-10 years. It is a reference point for what can be achieved with this fickle varietal, which is probably even more difficult to make into great wine than Pinot Noir.
See more »