Sine Qua Non Dark Blossom Syrah 2011
Syrah/Shiraz from California
The Wine Advocate - "Looking at Manfred's Syrahs, the 2011 Syrah Dark Blossom is a blend of 84% Syrah, 8% Grenache, 4% Petite Sirah and 4% Roussanne that-s scheduled to be bottled later this year or early in 2014. Aging in 50% new French oak, it's an elegant, seamless Syrah that boasts complex, layered aromatics, full-bodied richness and clean integrated acidity that keeps everything fresh and lively. It's superb and will have two decades of longevity."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Black pepper, plums, mint, savory herbs and new leather all burst from the glass in the 2011 Syrah Dark Blossom. Vivid and beautifully alive in the glass, the 2011 Dark Blossom is one of the most varietally expressive wines I have ever tasted at Sine Qua Non. Deep, dark and totally sensual, the 2011 Dark Blossom is shaping up to be utterly magnificent. This is a dazzling showing from Manfred and Elaine Krankl. The 2011 is 84% Syrah, 8% Grenache, 4% Petite Sirah and 4% Roussanne, (including 17% whole clusters) mostly from Third Twin, Eleven Confessions and Cumulus, with just a dollop of fruit from White Hawk. The 2011 will spend about 23 months in French oak, 50% new.
Blend: 95-97 Points"
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque purple. Deep, lush and pungent on the nose, with powerful scents of cassis, boysenberry, singed plum and violet. Then smooth and sweet on the palate, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors and a hint of vanilla, with lively acidity adding lift and focus. Finishes lush, concentrated and extremely long, with lingering flavors of boysenberry and blackberry liqueur. There's 50% new French oak here but it's well-hidden underneath the wine's powerful fruit."
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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 Other CaliforniaView a map of Other California wineries
California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States. In our section of Other California, we include wines from smaller AVAs as well as wines from the California AVA. Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:
Livermore Valley AVA, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
Lodi County AVA, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
San Francisco Bay AVA, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few. Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.
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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.