Sine Qua Non On The Lam 2009
Other White Blends from Central Coast, California
This is a breathtaking set of wines from Sine Qua Non and Manfred Krankl. It's hard to say precisely to what degree a greater reliance on estate owned vineyards, generally cooler growing seasons over the last few years and a reduction in new oak are shaping these wines, but the bottom line is that Krankl is coaxing fruit of incomparable elegance from the sites he works with. The silkiness and polish of the tannins is breathtaking. I also had a chance to see numerous estate vineyards during my visit with Krankl and Cellar Master Jim Binns including the Cumulus vineyard that informs Krankl's newest project, Next of Kyn, which is reviewed separately. That said, there are fewer more perfect matches than Grenache and Syrah as farmed by Krankl in the Eleven Confessions vineyard, which is located in the Santa Rita Hills, one of the cooler spots in California's Central Coast. The wines that emerge from this site are often profound. The sheer drive for perfection and attention to detail at Sine Qua Non is something I have rarely witnessed anywhere else in the world
International Wine Cellar - "Vivid gold. Intense, floral-accented scents of orange zest, pit fruit and candied ginger. Powerful and broad but surprisingly energetic, offering sappy, palate-staining citrus marmalade and peach flavors lifted by tangy acidity. A suave honey note comes up with air and carries through the long, spicy finish. "
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2009 On the Lam is a blend of 48% Roussanne, 34% Chardonnay and 18% Viognier from the Eleven Confessions and Bien Nacido vineyards. Tangerine peel, white peaches, mango, lychee and passion fruit are some of the nuances that emerge from this beautifully layered white. Weekly lees stirring gives the wine much of its depth. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015. "
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 CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
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.
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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.