SINE QUA NON VS CAYUSE WINE TASTING - A BATTLE OF TWO OF THE NEW WORLD'S TOP RHONE WINE PRODUCERS

Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 07:30 PM

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"I think it is a great error to consider a heavy tax on wines as a tax on luxury.  On the contrary, it is a tax on the health of our citizens." - 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.

In a few weeks we will be continuing the party with some 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 Sine Qua Non VS Cayuse new world Cult Rhone wine tasting.

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, Oregon and Washington State 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.  

These are two of the only New World Cult wineries that makes wines from Rhone varietals where the market demand has driven the price up to sometimes ridiculous levels and that is due to the tiny quantity produced and the high scores by the critics.  The wines from these two producers defy all odds and both 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 these two producers for less than the cost of a single bottle in most cases!  And the price of this event includes dinner!!  The fee for this tasting is $350 + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

 

Image result for 2001 Sine Qua Non Ventriloquist Grenache See the source image

Sine Qua Non VS Cayuse
A battle of two of the New World’s Top Rhone Rangers
Thrusday March 10, 2022
7:30 PM

2017 Cayuse Grenache God Only Knows Walla Walla
2018 Cayuse Camaspelo
2018 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Columbia Valley
2018 Cayuse Syrah En Cerise Columbia Valley
2018 Cayuse Syrah En Chamberlin Walla Walla
2017 Sine Qua Non Grenache The Gorgeous Victim
2017 Sine Qua Non Next of Kyn Red Wine California
2017 Sine Qua Non Syrah The Hated Hunter
2018 Sine Qua Non Grenache Profuga California
2018 Sine Qua Non Syrah Ziehharmonika California California

Menu
Selection of Cheese and Charcuterie
Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Sauteed Wild Mushrooms and Grilled Brioche Toast
Seared Ancho BBQ King Salmon Served over Black Bean Puree with Roasted Pepper Salsa
Colorad Rack of Lamb with Mongolian BBQ and Sweet Potato Au Gratin
Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee with Raspberry Coulis

 

The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $350 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.  Please let us know when you make your reservations if you have issues and chef Toni will be happy to accommodate you.

A bit about Sine Qua Non from their web page:
Image result for 2001 Sine Qua Non Ventriloquist Grenache
"an essential condition; a thing that is absolutely necessary."

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

 

 

About the Vineyards where these wines come from:

We own and lovingly farm four rather different Estate vineyards. All have different soils and micro-climates, but all share farming practices that are gentle, hands-on, natural (although we are not certified, we are essentially organic) and consistent. We believe these to be the four cornerstones of great fruit and subsequently great wine.
cumulus is 33 acres located in the cool Santa Rita Hills appellation. We planted 22 acres in 2001, primarily Syrah and Grenache, but also some Roussanne and a tiny bit of Viognier and Petite Sirah. The other 11 acres were Pinot Noir, planted by the previous ranch owners. About half of this has been grafted to three different clones of Chardonnay and a touch of Muscat. Because the climate is rather cool, we regularly experience very late harvests; seldom before the end of October and frequently well into November. This means very long “hang time” and thus full flavored, but never over-ripe or raisined fruit. Although the vineyard is densely planted with 2,420 vines per acre, we typically have very low yields of less than 1.5 tons per acre or more importantly around 1 ¼lb. of fruit per vine. This is one of the many criteria toward great wine quality.
cumulus is our “home” vineyard. It is located in the rather little known area of Oak View (south of Santa Barbara) where we live and where we also have our winery. The area is relatively warm and therefore it typically is the first of our vineyards to be harvested. Here we have numerous small blocks of varying vine training styles. The first block was planted in 2004 and is comprised of Syrah, Grenache and Roussanne. In 2008 we planted two more blocks. These house the rare white grape Petite Manseng, the equally rare Portugese Touriga Nacional, as well as small amounts of Mourvedre, Petite Sirah and two more small Syrah sections. One of these blocks is trained in a sort of Cote Rotie style. It is a super dense planting at 4,350 vines per acre and also own-rooted (no foreign rootstocks grafted onto the scions).
This CUMULUS Vineyard is also the fruit source for a newer brand that was launched with the 2007 vintage. It is called NEXT OF KYN. A young sister to SINE QUA NON if you will.
THE THIRD TWINis a vineyard property that we purchased in the spring of 2010. It is located near the quaint town of Los Alamos in the central coast. A small vineyard of mostly Syrah and a bit of Petite Sirah had been planted there in the year 2000 and, much to our surprise and delight, it was all own-rooted… our favorite, albeit a somewhat risky proposition because of the exposure to the dreaded phylloxera. This vineyard has rather sandy soils and the micro-climate could be called moderate. Staggeringly beautiful fruit has come from this site. In fact, we were so impressed that in the early spring of 2011 we planted another block, in even sandier soils. In fact, almost pure sand and very deep. The first delightful fruit from that vineyard block came with the amazingly great 2014 harvest. What a treat this site is. Hard to put into words.
cumulus is a place tucked away in the remote Tepusquet Canyon. It is a Hermit’s paradise. Hard to find, hard to access, way up at some 1800 feet elevation. There, in that hidden paradise, we planted a little bucolic 2 acre vineyard in a Chateauneuf-du-Pape like bush vine style, but all Mourvedre for now. We picked the first tiny bit of fruit nuggets there in the stingy 2015 vintage. The effort is a bit disproportionate to the quantity received, but heck it is worth the struggle at times.
At this time, we only have one more fruit source that is not grown and owned by us. And that is the heart warming Bien Nacido Vineyard in the very cool area of Santa Maria. Syrah from that vineyard was our very first fruit source and our first SQN wine… “Queen of Spades”… came from that fruit. We no longer contract Syrah, but we still have a small section of delightful Chardonnay for our white wine program and a tiny little “laboratory” block for Grenache, Mourvedre, Roussanne and Marsanne.

New Releases from Cayuse!!
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2018 Cayuse Camaspelo
Price: $139.50    Sale $122.76
(96 Points) The 2011 Grenache God Only Knows is shockingly good in the vintage. Sporting a big, masculine profile, with notions of lite gunpowder, ground pepper, herbs and wild strawberry and blackberry fruit, it flows onto the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a full, rich mid-palate and a healthy dose of tannin that will require short-term cellaring to integrate. This knockout Grenache will be at its finest from 2016-2026. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2018 Cayuse God Only Knows Grenache
Price: $159.00    Sale $139.92
(96 Points) Erupting from the glass with spiced cherry and smoked plum tones, the 2018 Grenache God Only Knows Armada Vineyard offers up notions of dusty roses, red peppercorn and dried potpourri. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is balanced with energetic acidity, a spicy, red-fruited expression and fine-grained, succulent tannins. The wine concludes with a dusty essence and a lingering flavor of red pepper skin… It's stunningly good, and I have no choice but to finish the glass. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

2018 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Columbia Valley
Price: $149.50    Sale $131.56
(95 Points) Co-fermented with 6% Viognier, the 2018 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard begins with dusty and smokey expressions of cured meats, black pepper and blackberry compote. Medium to full-bodied, the wine displays a ripe yet firm character with impeccable mineral tension, elements of smoked lavender and roasted herbs before dusty plum and black cherry skin sway with an umami essence and succulent, fine-grained tannins. Concluding with a long-lingering, evolving finish, the Syrah will have no problem aging past its 15th birthday... Bravo, it's delicious. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

2018 Cayuse Syrah En Cerise Columbia Valley
Price: $149.50    Sale $131.56
(94+ Points) Displaying a deep ruby core and magenta rim, the 2018 Syrah en Cerise bursts with elements of smoked meats, black pepper, umami, dried tobacco and smoked pipe before elements of black raspberry, dusty cherry and spiced plum compote sway out of the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the palate shows impeccable balance with a fine mineral tension followed by elements of smoked herbs, dusty lavender and hints of summer sausage across the mid-palate with youthful tannins. The wine concludes with a wonderfully expressive finish with elements of roasted herbs, cold firepit and cured meats. The wine should continue to drink well for the next decade. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

2018 Cayuse Syrah En Chamberlin Walla Walla
Price: $149.50    Sale $131.56
(95+ Points) Boasting a firm, dense and serious nose, the 2018 Syrah en Chamberlin Vineyard expresses notions of peppered beef jerky, cured venison, roasted plum and wilted lavender in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is sturdy and broad with elements of crème de cassis, bone broth, impressive mineral tension and healthy tannins that grip the gumline. It concludes with a long, lingering and subtly smoked finish… Let this one rest for another year in the cellar before opening, and drink through the next decade and a half. Decanting is recommended. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

2018 Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo En Chamberlin Vineyard Walla Walla
Price: $160.50    Sale $141.24
(93 Points) The 2018 Impulsivo displays a dark ruby core and a solid magenta rim and offers up aromas of leather, dusty violets, bone broth, blackberry reduction and dusty plums. Full-bodied for a Tempranillo, the palate offers flavors of spiced cherry compote, cedar and cigar box with pipe tobacco before fine-grained tannins coat the palate along with a soft oaky essence. The wine concludes with a long, lingering finish that offers a generous and persistent flavor of cinnamon-spiced plum compote and blackberry jus. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

Horsepower - another Christophe Baron project

(94 Points) Boasting a warm and generous nose that offers firm and expressive aromas of crème de cassis, black plum skin, dark cherry compote and spiced blackberry jus, the 2018 Camaspelo displays elements of resinous purple flowers and brown baking spices in the glass. Full-bodied and with silky tannins, the wine glides across the mid-palate with elegance and ease, leaving juicy flavors of macerating dark berries, cardamom madeleines and plum reduction. The wine has all of its elegance on display and concludes with an elongated finish that begs me back for another sip... It has me daydreaming of pan-seared Tomahawk chops. —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate
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2018 Horsepower Vineyards High Contrast Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla
Price: $199.50    Your Price: $175.56         
(97+ Points) Last of the Syrahs, the 2018 Syrah High Contrast Vineyard reveals a deep ruby/purple color as well as a wonderfully complex, classic Syrah nose of red and black fruits, cured meats, mushrooms, bacon fat, iron, and forest floor, with a touch of flowers emerging with time in the glass. With its medium to full-bodied richness, firm, focusing tannins, and great finish, it's another wine that takes savoriness to the nth degree. I love its texture, and there's almost a Burgundian style here that keeps you coming back to the glass. Hide bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades. –Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com

2018 Horsepower Vineyards Sur Echalas Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla
Price: $199.50    Your Price: $175.56         
(95 Points) All Syrah from a site in the Rocks region of Walla Walla, beautiful red and blackcurrant fruits as well as scorched earth, mushroom, iron, bacon fat, and autumn forest floor emerge from the 2018 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard. These notes carry to a medium to full-bodied Syrah with a round, layered mouthfeel, ripe yet building tannins, and a great finish. A primordial Syrah that needs at least 4-5 years of bottle age, it should have a solid two decades or more of overall longevity. If drinking any time soon, there's lots of trapped CO2, so don't be afraid to give it a healthy decant. –Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com

2017 Horsepower Vineyards Sur Echelas Vineyard Grenache Walla Walla
Price: $199.50    Your Price: $175.56          Quantity in Stock: 3

2018 Horsepower Vineyards The Tribe Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla
Price: $199.50    Your Price: $175.56         
(97+ Points) ...reveals a deep ruby/purple color as well as a wonderfully complex, classic Syrah nose of red and black fruits, cured meats, mushrooms, bacon fat, iron, and forest floor, with a touch of flowers emerging with time in the glass. With its medium to full-bodied richness, firm, focusing tannins, and great finish, it's another wine that takes savoriness to the nth degree. I love its texture, and there's almost a Burgundian style here that keeps you coming back to the glass. Hide bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades. –Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com

 

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2016 No Girls Wines Grenache La Paciencia Vineyard
Price: $135.00    Your Price: $118.80
(96 Points) The 2016 Grenache la Paciencia Vineyard has a nose that opens with a bang, boasting majestic and explosive notes of dusty red fruit—raspberries, cherries and spiced red plum—with a rocky core of minerality. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, the wine expresses the semi-carbonic notes of sweet red fruit and dusty red flower petals with iron and lava rocks. It has expressive and silky tannins that linger on the long, ethereal finish. I am impressed! This is delicious juice and is a must-have for serious collectors. The Wine Advocate

2016 No Girls Syrah La Paciencia Vineyard Walla Walla
Price: $135.00    Your Price: $118.80
(98 Points) The 2018 Syrah La Paciencia Vineyard is all Syrah from a single vineyard in the Rocks region of the Walla Walla Valley. Offering a Côte Rôtie-like perfume of black raspberries, blueberries, rose petals, smoked meat, and iron, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a smoky, meaty, layered mouthfeel, ripe yet present tannins, and a great finish. Its purity of fruit is off the charts, it's perfectly balanced, and while approachable today, it will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for 15-20 years in cold cellars. It's an incredible, singular Syrah. —Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com

2016 No Girls Wines Tempranillo
Price: $135.00    Your Price: $118.80
(97 Points) Similarly colored, the 2016 Tempranillo La Paciencia Vineyard offers an exotic bouquet of black cherries, violets, chocolate, tobacco, smoke, and candied orange rind. It’s deep, beautiful, savory, and full-bodied, with a thrilling texture. It’s another incredibly elegant, singular wine from this estate. —Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com

Big Bottles of Cayuse

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2011 Cayuse Flying Pigs 3 Liter (Etched and Signed bottle)
Price: $3500.00  Sale $3080.00
(95 Points) A Merlot-dominated blend, the 2011 Flying Pig checks in as 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 12 months in 50% new French oak before being moved to large oak puncheons. Deep-ruby in color, it has beautiful cassis, plum, licorice, olive tapenade and lead pencil shaving-like aromas and flavors that give way to a full-bodied, layered and concentrated 2011 that has beautifully integrated oak, plenty of mid-palate and a terrific finish. Enjoy it anytime over the coming 10-15 years. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate
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2011 Cayuse Camaspelo 3 liter (Etched and Signed bottle)
Price: $3500.00  Sale $3080.00
(95 Points) More Cabernet Sauvignon dominated, the 2011 Camaspelo incorporates 20% Merlot and was aged in 50-60% new French oak. One of the few 2011s that has some upside, it offers up a smoke-laced array of black currants, singed herbs, graphite and hints of spring flowers to go with a medium to full-bodied, elegant and seamless character on the palate. Inky purple in color, with fine tannin and a big finish, it’s a smoking Cabernet that will evolve nicely for 15 to 20 years. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

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2011 Cayuse Syrah Armanda Vineyard 3 liter (Etched and Signed bottle)
Price: $3500.00  Sale $3080.00
(98 Points) ...Spectacular, and one of the highlights of this tasting, bursting from the glass with aromas of dark chocolate, smoked duck, blackberries, licorice, cassis, burning embers, tapenade and cracked black pepper. On the palate, it's full-bodied, layered and mouthwateringly savory, with cool fruit tones, a lovely underlying line of acidity and plenty of youthful energy, concluding with a refined but gently tannic finish... this compelling wine that screams Syrah and Walla Walla—but also more than nods to the Northern Rhône. —William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

2011 Cayuse God Only Knows 3 Liter (Etched and Signed bottle)
Price: $3500.00  Sale $3080.00
**All four of these 3 liters were purchases at the Washington State wine Auction and have been here at the Wine Watch since release!!  And they are all signed by Christophe Baron