Sine Qua Non The Duel Syrah 2008
Syrah/Shiraz from California
Blend: 88% Syrah, 6% Grenache and 6% Viognier
The Wine Advocate - "A prodigious effort that possesses overflowing richness and depth, the 2008 Syrah The Duel (88% Syrah, 6% Grenache and 6% Viognier, all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard) delivers an off-the-hook drinking experience with decadent cassis, blackberry, smoked meats, crushed flowers and hints of spice all soaring from the glass. A full-bodied, unctuous Syrah that stays fresh and elegant, with vibrant acidity, it needs a solid decant if drinking anytime soon and will see its 20th birthday in fine form. Drink now-2028."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2008 Syrah The Duel, from Manfred and Elaine Krankl’s Eleven Confessions Vineyard, is also impossibly young, with little in the way of flavor development. I typically enjoy the Sine Qua Non reds either upon release or around age ten, so I probably should have followed my own advice. The 2008 is beautiful, but it will clearly be even better in another few years’ time. This is one of the most reticent bottles of the 2008 I have tasted."
Wine Spectator - "Pure, rich and deeply flavored, centered around ripe, restrained plum and blueberry flavors, with touches of spice, cedar, tobacco and crushed rock. Ends with a subtle, detailed aftertaste. Drink now through 2021."
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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 California
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 unto 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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