Sine Qua Non Dirt Vernacular Grenache 2016  Front Label
Sine Qua Non Dirt Vernacular Grenache 2016  Front LabelSine Qua Non Dirt Vernacular Grenache 2016  Front Bottle Shot

Sine Qua Non Dirt Vernacular Grenache 2016

  • JD100
  • RP98
750ML / 0% ABV
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4.8 7 Ratings
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4.8 7 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck

I called the 2016 Grenache Dirt Vernacular a perfect wine last year, and it’s still straight-up heavenly stuff that tops out on my scale this year. A blend of 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvèdre, 7% Touriga Nacional, and the rest Petite Sirah, it comes mostly from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills yet also includes fruit from the Third Twin, Cumulus, Bien Nacido, and Molly Aida vineyards. Aged 23 months in 38% new French oak, it offers awesome notes of kirsch liqueur, blackberries, ground pepper, leafy herbs, and graphite as well as a full-bodied, powerful, yet weightless style on the palate. It’s one of those wines that offer incredible intensity and depth, yet stays weightless, seamless, and elegant. It’s a magical wine and one of the greatest Grenache releases to ever come from California.

RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The label of the 2016 Dirt Venacular is based on a picture of a stone imbedded in another stone. The wine is composed of 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvèdre, 7% Touriga Nacional and 3.5% Petite Sirah, fermented using 43% whole cluster with the whole cluster mostly used on the Grenache component. The vineyard sources are 42% Eleven Confessions Estate, 25% The Third Twin Estate, 22% Cumulus Estate, 9% Bien Nacido and 2% Molly Aida Estate. It was aged for around 23 months in 38% new French oak, 53% used French oak and 9% concrete.
Rating: 98+
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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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California is a winemaking colossus; by itself it is the fourth largest producer in the world. Red wine accounts for 56% of the total by volume, and red grapes 63% of total acres planted. In addition, a number of California red wines are heralded as being among the most prestigious and sought-after wines in the world.

While the state’s incredibly diverse geography, soils and microclimates allow for a wide array of styles, the key factor unifying California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season. This leads to well-developed fruit marked both by impressive ripeness and balancing acidity.

The state’s most famous red wine region, of course, is Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as king. But California boasts a wealth of other impressive appellations. The much larger and climatically varied Sonoma County also produces world class California Cabernet, along with wonderful examples of California Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

Fine versions of Cabernet and Zinfandel hail from Paso Robles as well, which is also gaining fame with Rhone varietals like Syrah and Grenache. As for Pinot Noir, terrific examples can be found from AVA’s such as Anderson Valley, Carneros, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta. Rita Hills. Wineries in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties are making wonderful Syrahs, and the Sierra Foothill appellations are proving to be an experimental hotbed, with Italian and Spanish varietals employed to great effect.

This of course is a mere sketch. The subject of California red wine is as deep and broad as an ocean, and absolutely a joy to explore!

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XXI433632_2016 Item# 433632

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