Sine Qua Non California Cult Tasting Part 2 at WWWB - The Ultimate California Rhone Ranger

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"By making this wine vine known to the public, I have rendered my country as great a service as if I had enabled it to pay back the national debt."

~ Thomas Jefferson


 


If only a modern day politician could contribute as much to the quality of our life as the late great Thomas Jefferson.  He was one of the first advocates of wine in the United States and he is one of the reasons why we have the greatest selection of wines from all around the world in the U.S. today.  So, remember...no matter how bad it gets, we still have great wines here in the U.S. of A.


Speaking of GREAT wines from the U.S.A…. I need a few good men or women to help me drink some really fine wine on this occasion- our second Sine Qua Non California Cult Rhone tasting this year. The first event was tiny like the production of these wines so we had to do this Part 2 a month later and it just happens that the newly released 2015 wines have just landed so you will be the first in South Florida to eperience the new release from this California cult producer.


What makes a "cult wine"? Do the producers pick the grapes at night under the full moon? Do they make it under a secret oath or while sacrificing a small farm animal? These ultra expensive, hard to find wines from California just have more customers than they do bottles to go around.  The simplest factor in the economy kicks in with these wines, good old supply and demand.  


Image result for 2001 Sine Qua Non Ventriloquist Grenache
"an essential condition; a thing that is absolutely necessary."


 


This is one of the only California Cult wineries that makes wines from Rhone varietals that demands ridiculous prices and that is due to the tiny quantity produced and the ridiculous scores by the critics.  These wines defy all odds and they change the names of the wines and the bottle shapes every year which would seemingly confuse even the most astute collectors, but they sell out of everything on the mailing list in short order every vintage and the wines skyrocket in price shortly after release some selling for over $1000 per bottle!!


This evening you can taste 10 different wines from this producer for less than the cost of a single bottle in most cases!  And the price of this event includes dinner!!  There are only 16 spaces available for this event.  The fee for this tasting is $295 + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.


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Sine Qua Non Tasting at WWWB
Friday, March 16, 2018
7:30 PM


Image result for 2015 Sine Qua Non 'Entre Chien et Loup'' White Blend


2015 Sine Qua Non "Entre Chien et Loup'' White Blend 

Price: $202.50    Sale $178.20


(97 Points) The 2015 Entre Chien et Loup is a blend of 44% Chardonnay, 40% Roussanne, 8% Petit Manseng and 8% Viognier coming 44% from Bien Nacido Vineyard, 30% from the Cumulus (Estate) Vineyard and 26% from the Eleven Confessions (Estate) Vineyard. No settling was done to the juices—they were fermented as “dirty” as possible and, as usual, they were not racked. This wine was matured for around 19 months (bottled April 12, 2017), in: 19% concrete eggs, 20% stainless steel, 20% used barrels and 41% new French oak. It opens with a positively electric nose of ripe apricots, pink grapefruit and green mango with notions of candied ginger, honeycomb, allspice and baking bread. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a wonderfully satiny texture and incredible freshness, cutting through the dense tropical and stone fruit layers, finishing with epic length and many layers of savory and spice notions. By the way, I love the name of this wine and just wait until you see the label which, I’m happy to report, has already (somehow) been given the all-clear by the TTB. Drinking deliciously right now, it is built like a brick house and should cellar gracefully for 10-12 years." Robert Parker


Image result for 2015 Grenache Le ChemIn Vers L’hérésIe


2015 Sine Qua Non Grenache Le ChemIn Vers L’hérésIe

Price: $232.50    Sale $204.60

Magnum $817.50             Sale $719.40


The 2015 Grenache Le chemIn vers l’hérésIe means “the path to heresy.” As you surely know heresy is a belief contrary to orthodox doctrine, strongly at variance with established beliefs – it is a term usually used relative to religious teachings, but it is also used of views strongly opposed to any generally accepted ideas; a dissention, nonconformity, unorthodoxy and even blasphemy. I am sure not much has to be added to “explain” more. The cuvee is a paganistic marriage of 75% Grenache, 13% Mourvedre, 8% Touriga Nacional (The Man made a mistake here – this should have been a Rhone variety) and 4% Petite Sirah. We used 44% whole clusters to ferment this beauty. This mama is surprisingly dark for Grenache. There are terrific aromas and flavors of lots of blueberries, black cherries, garrigue (wild herbs, thyme, rosemary, fennel), spice and even some fountain pen ink. It has a full, voluptuous texture that covers every crevice of your mouth. There are lots of tannins, but they are lush and satiny. Although the wine starts out with a punch, it is really quite lovely and like liquid velvet. There is not only a path to “heresy” but also a path to cellaring as this will clearly reward further patience and time, although I am sure you will find it tantalizing right off the delivery truck


 


2015 Sine Qua Non Syrah Trouver l’arène

Price: $232.50    Sale $204.60

Magnum $817.50             Sale $719.40


The 2015 Syrah Trouver l’arène states “finding the arena.” If you re-read the burgundy portion of T.R.’s manifesto you’ll quickly see the connection. This supermodel of a wine, if nothing else, is an orgy of the palate. The partners in that orgy are 80.5% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah, 7% Mourvedre, 2% Grenache and an aroma lifting, sexy, co-fermented 3.5% Viognier. All of the fruit was tenderly grown at three of our Estate vineyards.?36% at Eleven Confessions, 37% at The Third Twin... some +/- 15 miles northeast of there and 27% at the home vineyard Cumulus. Here only 34% whole clusters (of course meaning the stems also) were employed in the fermentation. For 22 months we taught this black beauty manners in barrels, 48% of which were new and all French. Like it’s Grenache sibling, this temptress was never fined or filtered, but rather left to it’s gorgeous own devices. My tasting notes from right before the bottling read – impossibly SQN dark with an almost lacquer sheen to it. There is a slightly peppery, savory, saddle leather nose that is quite pronounced.


 


2013 Sine Qua Non Estate Grenache Jusqu’à l’os

Price: $387.50    Sale $341.00


The 2013 Estate Grenache Jusqu’à l’os has its bone embedded in 79% Grenache,?18% Syrah and 3% Petite Sirah. Of course, as you might have already guessed, all grown with care and tender fingers at the Eleven Confessions Vineyard. Only 11% of the fruit was destemmed and a whopping 89% was fermented whole cluster in small, open top vessels. Only 6% new oak was employed, 51% used barrels and 43% concrete tanks. The wine was never fined and like all of our wines (except for occasional dessert wines) the wine was also not filtered. This mama spent 38 months in its training camp. Like its seductive white sister this lady is one to be reckoned with. The wine is broad shouldered and has a gorgeous, savory, seductive, slightly old world quality to it. Nothing about it is shy or reticent, but it is also not flamboyantly Kim Kardashian.


 


2013 Sine Qua Non Estate Syrah Le Supplément

Price: $387.50 Sale $341.00   Quantity in Stock: 3


 


The 2013 Estate Syrah Le Supplément is a model SQN wine if there ever was one. Its orchestra consists of 89% Syrah, 6% Petite Sirah, 3% Grenache and 2% Viognier. Most of that fruit was destemmed and only 28% was whole cluster. It too is all Eleven Confessions. Here 83% new French oak was splurged on, the rest was used barrels. Don’t know if calling it a beauty is fair because it is more masculine, but it IS something to savor...no doubt about it. I could go on and on and on describing a peacock’s tail of aromas and the almost regal cloak this toned Majesty is wearing, but so as to not bore you to death and exhaust / expose my embarrassing vocabulary satchel, I’ll just say this “extra” just bursts and sings and draws from everywhere imaginable in the wilderness to express its impressive power and sophisticated stance. It is supple and refined with a nearly intimidating body, but the dainty personality of a humming bird with a Stephen Hawking mind. Don’t miss it. I have to implore - don’t miss it!!


. Image result for 2012 Sine Qua Non 'Rattrapante - Eleven Confessions Vineyard' Sta. Rita Hills Grenache


2012 Sine Qua Non "Rattrapante - Eleven Confessions Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Grenache 


(100 points) A perfect wine any way you look at it, the 2012 Grenache Rattrapante comes all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and spent 33 months in 27% new French oak. My notes start - and end - with “Wow.” Giving up tons of black raspberries, peppery herbs, licorice, dried flowers and cured meats, it’s a massively concentrated, rich and layered Grenache that somehow manages to stay graceful, lively and fresh on the palate. There are roughly 800 cases of this elixir and any Grenache lover should do their best to latch onto a bottle (or two). It’s also worth noting that this cuvee saw 26% whole clusters, which is a small change from past vintages. (JD) (8/2016)  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


Image result for 2012 Sine Qua Non Touche Estate Syrah


2012 Sine Qua Non Touche Estate Syrah


(100 Points) Lastly, the utterly perfect 2012 Syrah Touche reminds me of a great vintage of Guigal’s Cote Rotie La Landonne. A blend of 93% Syrah, 5% Petite Sirah and 2% Viognier, all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, it spent 40 months in 78% new French oak. Deep, concentrated, full-bodied and layered, with a multidimensional texture and to-die-for notes of camphor, cured meats, violets, smoke and assorted dark fruits, this beauty has fine, perfectly ripe tannin and blockbuster length. Give it 3-4 years and drink over the following two decades.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


Image result for 2011 Sine Qua Non Patine Grenache Eleven Confessions Vineyard


2011 Sine Qua Non Patine Grenache Eleven Confessions Vineyard

Price: $395.00    Sale $347.60       Quantity in Stock: 6


(97 Points)  "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." The Wine Advocate


 


Image result for 2006 Sine Qua Non Raven Series No. 1 Grenache


2006 Sine Qua Non Raven Series No. 1 Grenache

Price: $400.00    Sale Price: $325.00

Quantity in Stock: 2


(98 points) This blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, largely from the 11 Confessions Vineyard, with a small amount from Bien Nacido, spent 21 months in barrel. It is really strutting its stuff now, and showing even better than my original note predicted in August of 2009. The wine has loads of meat, licorice, smoke, charcoal and graphite, as well as huge peppery, blackberry and black cherry notes. Full-bodied, with great acidity, nicely integrated tannin, an admirable mouthfeel and tremendous length, this killer Grenache is still young and probably 3-5 years away from prime time drinking. (RP) (8/2011)  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


Menu


Foie Gras with Honeydew Melon Mint Salsa on Brioche Lavender Vanilla French Toast


Wild Boar Shepard’s Pie with grilled Chayote Squash and creme fraiche mash


Dark chocolate Soufflé with blackberry and black raspberry gelato


 


There are only 16 spaces available for this event.  The fee for this tasting is $295 + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.


 


A bit about Sine Qua Non from their web page:


 


Our wines were born of pure passion and a wishful dream – to make something that is so distinctive and so delicious as to make it indispensable to wine lovers the world over. Clearly a rather lofty, even unrealistic notion, but one we decided to pursue anyway. And so with the 1994 vintage  started Sine Qua Non, made a whopping four and a half barrels of Syrah that we called “Queen of Spades.”


That first wine was a much greater hit than we could have ever imagined and it literally changed our life. What started as a hobby, more or less on a whim, has become not only our full time occupation, but indeed our life. It is now a part of just about everything we do.


These first four and a half barrels have grown into four different vineyard sites (see our Vineyards section please), a good number of wonderfully dedicated and hard working employees, a new winery building and a simply amazing number of loyal wine lovers the world over. In fact there are so very many lovely folks interested in our wines that we don’t have enough to go around and instead had to create something as annoying as a waiting list.


We are humbled by all the positive feedback we continuously receive by people like you as well as critics and journalists from all corners of the earth. We take that as our mandate to forever strive to get better, to never compromise and to stay true to ourselves and by extension to all those who have supported us and believed in us since those first 100+ cases of wine left our cellar…now so many years ago.


Although at heart we are a Rhone (Ranger) house where Syrah and Grenache play top fiddle… supported by Mourvedre, Rousanne and Viognier, we have an aversion to labels and dogmas or mindless ritual that are sometimes called tradition. And so we also grow non-Rhone-origin grapes such as Petite Manseng, Touriga Nacional, Graciano and Petite Sirah. Varieties we believe can work well on a Rhone canvas.


 


We are not working on a grape growing or winemaking THESIS. Instead we want all of our efforts to be reflected in every glass of SQN. And so our goal has been and always will be to understand Mother Nature’s often oblique ways and (re)act accordingly so that we may create wines that express all that Nature has so generously given us. And all that this beautifully warm and sunny place called California has to offer. Wines that speak to the heart and the mind both. Wines that are ripe and flavorful, but also graceful and balanced. Wines  that are perfectly enjoyable and delicious young, but  that will age and show a new and interesting personality with each passing year. Wines that surprise with each sip and where the last drop – not the first sip – was the best one. Wines that make you smile and happy and appreciate all that is lovely.


Wines that make you sense they were crafted by people who loved making them.


With that we hope you’ll join our vinous family and thanks again for looking us up.


In vino veritas,


 


Elaine & Manfred Krankl


 


 


The rest of the stuff were not drinking this evening is still available for sale!


 2014 Sine Qua Non Grenache Shakti

Price: $295.00    Your Price: $259.60          Quantity in Stock: 5


(100 points) The 2014 Grenache Shakti is blended of 88% Grenache, 6% Mourvèdre, 4% Petite Sirah and 2% Touriga Nacional, coming 51% from the Cumulus (Estate) Vineyard, 18% from The Third Twin (Estate) Vineyard, 9.5% from Bien Nacido Vineyard and 21.5% for the Eleven Confessions (Estate) Vineyard. It was produced using 42% whole cluster and aged for around 21 months in French oak, 6% new (bottled June 21, 2017). It offers up a deep garnet-purple color and notes of dried Mediterranean herbs, dusty earth, Chinese five spice and rose petals over a core of red currants, mulberries, red plums and black raspberries, plus a waft of chocolate covered cherries. Full-bodied, decadently concentrated and yet very, very pretty in the mouth, it delivers incredibly fine-grained, ripe tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing on a persistent--totally disarming--perfumed red fruit note. (LPB) (9/2017)  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


 


2014 Sine Qua Non Syrah Piranha Waterdance

Price: $295.00    Your Price: $259.60          Quantity in Stock: 4


(100 points) Blended of 81% Syrah, 8% Petite Sirah, 6% Mourvèdre, 4% Touriga Nacional and 1% Graciano, sourced from 34% The Third Twin, 35% Eleven Confessions and 31% Cumulus (all estate vineyards), the provocative, inky purple colored 2014 Syrah Piranha Waterdance was made using 26% whole cluster and hits the scent scene with exuberant, pure crème de cassis, blackberry cordial and blueberry coulis notes with hints of espresso, licorice, garrigue and menthol, plus a gorgeous underlying perfume of red roses. The full-bodied palate is oh-so-elegant and pretty, revealing very finely pixelated tannins that beautifully frame the almost electric intensity, culminating in an epically long, licorice and chocolate-laced finish. Too stunning for mere words and rude to even try--just drink it. (LPB) (9/2017)  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


2013 Sine Qua Non Male Syrah California Magnum

Price: $795.00    Your Price: $699.60          Quantity in Stock: 1
2013 Sine Qua Non Male Syrah California

Price: $350.00    Your Price: $308.00          Quantity in Stock: 3


(98 points) The 2013 Syrah Male is an elegant, seamless Syrah that exudes class in its creme de cassis, black raspberry, smoked meats, graphite and asphalt-laced bouquet. This is a blend of 80% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah, 6% Mourvèdre, 3.5% Touriga National and 3.5% Viognier, fermented with 28% whole clusters and aged 25 months in 65% new French oak. It's full-bodied, beautifully layered, silky and seamless, with no hard edges and wonderful freshness in both the aromatics and palate. Give bottles 3-4 years and enjoy over the following 10-15. (JD) (5/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


2013 Sine Qua Non Grenache Female California Magnum

Price: $795.00    Your Price: $699.60          Quantity in Stock: 1
2013 Sine Qua Non Grenache Female California

Price: $350.00    Your Price: $308.00          Quantity in Stock: 3


(98 points)  Manfred's 2013 Grenache Female checks in as a blend of 78% Grenache, 19% Syrah and 3% Mourvèdre that is mostly from his Eleven Confessions estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills, yet has smaller portions from his Cumulus, The Third Twin and Bien Nacido vineyards. Seeing just over 24 months in a mix of demi-muids, 300-liter Hog Heads and barrique, it has a sensational bouquet of spring flowers, black raspberries, black cherries, violets, licorice and camphor. Reminding me of a great vintage of Raymond Usseglio's Cuvée Imperiale, this full-bodied, elegant Grenache is impeccably balanced, has a full and layered mid-palate (which is missing from just about every other Grenache made in California), and sweet tannin on the finish. It's almost impervious to air and didn't budge an inch over the three days I followed this bottle. It will cruise for over two decades.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 5/2016


 


2012 Sine Qua Non Grenache Stein

Price: $399.00    Your Price: $351.12          Quantity in Stock: 4


(96-99 Points)   Moving to the Grenache-driven efforts, the 2012 Grenache Stein incorporates 16% Syrah and 8% Mourvedre. Aged 22 months in mostly used oak (various sizes), it offers awesome purity and freshness in its black raspberry, cassis, ground herbs, white pepper and licorice-driven bouquet. The palate follows suite and is full-bodied, deeply concentrated and layered, with fabulous precision and length. This is blockbuster stuff that will have two decades of longevity.


These latest releases from Sine Qua Non and Next of Kyn are at the pinnacle of wine, and it’s simply impossible to taste through these and not be blown away. While I think the star of the show at the moment is the 2010 vintage, the 2011s aren’t far behind, and the 2012s should rival them as well. In addition, to give you an idea how these wines age, don’t miss the recent 2004 retrospective on these wines that was published at eRobertParker.com. We finished the tasting with Manfred’s Next of Kyn releases, and these are the strongest set of wines yet to come out under this label. The focus here is exclusively on his estate Cumulus Vineyard planted around the estate in Oakview. eRobertParker.com #214, Aug 2014


2012 Sine Qua Non Syrah Stock

Price: $395.00    Your Price: $347.60          Quantity in Stock: 4


(97-99 Points)  The Syrah releases started with the 2012 Syrah Stock. Coming mostly from the Eleven Confessions vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, it also has portions from Cumulus, The Third Twin and White Hawk. Made from 84% Syrah, 7% Grenache, 6% Petite Sirah, 2% Viognier and the rest Mourvedre, it spent 20 months (it’s not yet bottled) in 52% new French oak. Showing the purity and suppleness of the vintage, yet with no lack of concentration, depth or richness, it gives up fabulous cassis, black raspberry, smoked meats and violet-like aromas and flavors that continue to change in the glass. In short, it’s a rock-star Syrah that could come from nowhere else. It should be approachable on release and evolve gracefully for two decades or more.


These latest releases from Sine Qua Non and Next of Kyn are at the pinnacle of wine, and it’s simply impossible to taste through these and not be blown away. While I think the star of the show at the moment is the 2010 vintage, the 2011s aren’t far behind, and the 2012s should rival them as well. In addition, to give you an idea how these wines age, don’t miss the recent 2004 retrospective on these wines that was published at eRobertParker.com. We finished the tasting with Manfred’s Next of Kyn releases, and these are the strongest set of wines yet to come out under this label. The focus here is exclusively on his estate Cumulus Vineyard planted around the estate in Oakview.  eRobertParker.com #214, Aug 2014


2005 Sine Qua Non Mr. K Strawman Marsanne 375ml

Price: $499.00    Sale Price: $399.00           Quantity in Stock: 1


2001 Sine Qua Non Pagan Poetry Rose 375ml

Price: $750.00    Sale Price: $575.00           Quantity in Stock: 1


2000 Sine Qua Non In Flagrante Central Coast

Price: $650.00    Sale Price: $450.00           Quantity in Stock: 1


(96 points)  The 2000 In Flagrante (a 725-case blend of 86% Syrah, 10% Grenache, and 4% Viognier) is a world-class, provocative effort. It reveals many of the same aromatic and flavor components found in the 2001 Midnight Oil and 2002 Syrah-dominated, unnamed offering. A black color is followed by a seamless effort loaded with blackberry, honey, and flower aromas, and an extraordinarily long, concentrated finish. As with all great wines, tasting notes/descriptors just can’t do it justice. Among the recent SQN Syrahs, it is a strikingly elegant and powerful wine that has a decidedly French flair to it.  Wine Advocate #148, Aug 2003

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