Sine Qua Non This Is Not An Exit Syrah 2009
Syrah/Shiraz from California
About as good as it gets across the board, these singular, incredible wines are the result of an obsessive attention to detail at all stages of the wine making process. There is no secret or hidden magic going on here. The incredibly talented and down-to-earth Manfred Krankl simply walks the walk as opposed to only talking about attention to detail or offering up the standard, wine is made in the vineyard comments. Looking at the vintages focused on here, 2009 has produced a decadent, voluptuous style that offers up thrilling levels of fruit as well as an approachable, heady richness that-s hard to resist. While they possess ample depth and structure, I would drink these before either the 2010s or 2011s. The 2010s here are stunning and have everything; gorgeous fruit, awesome concentration and incredible purity. While the most age-worthy of the recent vintages, they're a spectacular drink even today. The 2011s, which were all tasted out of barrel, have additional freshness and focus over the 2010s. They have solid concentration and overall balanced profiles that should allow them to cruise in the cellar.
The Wine Advocate - "An extended barrel-aged release, the 2009 Syrah This Is Not An Exit is 100% from the Santa Rita Hills Eleven Confessions Vineyard and checks in as a blend of 80% Syrah, 12% Grenache, 7% Roussanne and 1% Viognier that saw 41.5 months in 65% new French oak. Slightly exotic, with notions of kirsch, flower oil, smoked meats, licorice and graphite, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness and depth, loads of fruit and a blockbuster finish. More approachable than the 2010 extended barrel age Syrah, this beauty will still have 15+ years of longevity. Drink now-2024."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2009 Syrah This is Not an Exit seems to still be showing some of the effects of its recent bottling, about a month and a half before this tasting. Like the 2009 Grenache This is Not an Exit, the Syrah is rich, powerful and voluptuous. Chocolate, mocha, black cherries and menthol are followed by hints of pomegranate, orange rind and spices, all of which add an exotic flair. Right now, I have a preference for the 2010s and the 2011s at Sine Qua Non, but I have seen these wines develop beautifully in bottle, so we will see. The blend is 80% Syrah, 12% Grenache, 7% Roussanne and 1% Viognier (with 22% whole clusters), all from Eleven Confessions.
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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