Sine Qua Non This Is Not An Exit Syrah 2009
Syrah/Shiraz from California
Blend: 80% Syrah, 12% Grenache, 7% Roussanne, 1% Viognier
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."
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque purple. Intensely perfumed scents of black raspberry, cherry preserves, potpourri and smoky minerals. Brisk, tightly wound dark berry and floral pastille flavors are underscored by intense minerality and show excellent clarity. Closes smooth, sweet and very long, with slow-building tannins and lingering florality."
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.
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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.
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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.