Sine Qua Non Against the Wall 1996  Front Bottle Shot
Sine Qua Non Against the Wall 1996  Front Bottle Shot

Sine Qua Non Against the Wall 1996

  • RP94
  • V91
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Sine Qua Non has produced some spectacular Syrahs, buying fruit from the best sources in Santa Barbara - the Alban, Stolpman, and Bien Nacido vineyards. The 1996 Against The Wall Syrah is cut from the same mold as the 1997. The color is opaque black/purple, and the nose offers a combination of cassis/blackberry jamminess intermixed with tar, pepper, and spice. Thick, massively full, yet wonderfully rich and expansive, with admirable purity and mouth-staining levels of glycerin and extract, this full-bodied, silky-smooth Syrah is deceptively easy to drink, but I suspect it will age effortlessly for 15-20 years.
V 91
Vinous

Full deep ruby. Superripe, nuanced aromas of cassis, blackberry, raspberry, hickory smoke, smoked meat and milk chocolate; rather Hermitage-like. Creamy and seamless in the mouth, but firm acids and underlying minerality give it a sense of solidity. At once generous and firm; this has a very sophisticated texture for a California syrah. Flavors of red and black berries. Powerful yet restrained, and quite forward for a syrah from this producer.

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Sine Qua Non

Sine Qua Non

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Sine Qua Non, California
Sine Qua Non Winery Image
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.

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Sta. Rita Hills Wine

Santa Barbara, California

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A superior source of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, westernmost sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation within Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on.

The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot noir, thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil. Here, grapes ripen just enough, while retaining brisk acidity and harmonious balance.

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”

NDY781292_1996 Item# 781292

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