Sine Qua Non Incognito 2000
Grenache from Central Coast, California
"The 2000 Incognito (a blend of 95% Grenache and 5% Syrah) is the finest Grenache-based effort the Krankls have yet produced. A black/ruby/purple color is followed by a lavishly exotic nose of super-rich as well as super-ripe black cherries, black currants, blackberries, licorice, pepper, and other heavenly delights. It is a wine of extraordinary opulence, texture, and purity with a finish that lasts 65+ seconds. Undeniably the greatest Grenache I have tasted from California, it is a reference point for what can be achieved by someone pushing the envelope of quality at all stages - viticultural, winemaking, and cellar work. Kudos to the Krankls. It should drink well for 10-15 years, but who can resist it that long?"
-Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
The Wine Advocate - "2000 Incognito: This remains an historic wine and probably the greatest Grenache (95% Grenache and 5% Syrah) made in California up to this timeline. We were lucky enough to have this from a magnum at the vertical tasting, although I have recently had it from my cellar, as I have drunk the last remaining 750 ml formats I owned. A classic casebook in the glories of Grenache, this wine, which does have a little Syrah in it, has a dense plum/ruby color and an explosive nose of kirsch liqueur, incense, wood spice, pepper and earth. Ripe, full-bodied, and opulent, with a velvety texture, a magnificent, multi-layered, skyscraper-like mouthfeel, yet no sense of heaviness or any jagged edges, this is a glorious, voluptuously textured Grenache that scores high on all hedonistic and intellectual levels. I can’t see it getting any better, as it is fully mature, so owners of it are advised to drink it up over the next few years."
Sine Qua Non Winery
Sine Qua Non was created after the 1994 harvest of a Bien Nacido Syrah named “The Queen of Spades”. Winemaker Manfred Krankl feels strongly that each vintage is a completely unique wine and thus he gives each wine a unique name. He also creates the artwork for each new label himself. Previously, Manfred had made wines with Bryan Babcock and John Alban and still sources much of his fruit from Alban’s vineyard. The basic white wines have always been a white blend of Chardonnay, Roussanne and Viognier and a red wine based on Syrah plus Grenache. Sometimes there are small quantities of Rose and a Grenache-based red.
Sine Qua Non has its own winemaking facility in Ventura, California not far from the Santa Barbara vineyards where the fruit is sourced from. In the last few years Manfred and his wife, Elaine, have begun creating their own vineyards dedicated to Rhone varietals. Their winemaking philosophy is to work in very small batches, gravity flow, natural yeasts (unless a fermentation problem is anticipated), long lees aging for the whites and repeated racking for the reds to open them up. This is a modified explanation of a very dedicated and artistic approach to winemaking. The wines are simultaneously very rich and elegant, superbly balanced and thoroughly harmonious with food, never overwhelming. View all Sine Qua Non Wines
About Central Coast
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.