Sine Qua Non Eleven Confession Grenache E 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Grenache E slides beguilingly out of the glass with a powerfully evocative, earthy/meaty nose of wood smoke, grilled meats, fragrant soil, truffles and iron ore with a core of kirsch, blackberry pie, Black Forest cake and aniseed plus touches of wild sage, rose hip tea and Indian spices. The palate is full-bodied, surprisingly muscular and built like a brick house with an unbelievable structure of very fine, densely pixilated tannins supporting the generous, multi-faceted layers, finishing with epic length, jaw-dropping texture and tons of cerebral mineral and spice nuances. WOW! 900 cases, 228 magnums and 30 double magnums were made.
The 2015 Grenache E comes all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard and spent a whopping 38 months in 28% new French oak, with the balance in used barrels of varying sizes. An incredible effort that offers complex notes of cured meats, graphite, ground white and black pepper, flowers, and cassis, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, and a purity level that’s just about off the charts. Showing the concentrated, powerful, structured style of the vintage, give bottles 3-4 years in the cellar and enjoy over the following decade or more. Rating: 98+
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.
A major force on the global playing field, California is the world’s fourth largest wine-producing region on the planet and the majority of land under vine here is devoted to red varieties, covering nearly double the vineyard acreage of whites.
While the state’s incredibly diverse terrain and microclimates allow for countless red wine styles, the one factor unifying all California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season, which leads to well-developed and fully ripened fruit.
Sonoma County, nestled between Napa Valley and the Pacific Ocean, claims great variability in geography and microclimates. Here world-class Pinot Noir is possible from Sonoma’s cooler sites while old, gnarly Zinfandel vines survived Prohibition.