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Flat front label of wine

Sine Qua Non Grenache Testa dei Cherubini 2014

Grenache from California
  • JD99
  • RP98
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JD 99
Jeb Dunnuck
As with the extended aged Syrah release, the 2014 Grenache Testa Dei Cherubini (80% Grenache, 15.5% Syrah, and the rest Petite Sirah and Viognier) comes all from the estate Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and spent just under 38 months in 25% new French oak, with the balance in neutral barrels (varying sizes). Layers of black raspberry, cassis, white chocolate, white flowers, and Asian spices flow to a full-bodied, supple, powerful Grenache that has silky, silky tannins, a seamless texture, no hard edges, and a finish that won’t quit. It’s already approachable, yet in my experience, this extended élevage results in a very stable wine, and I suspect this beauty will have another two decades of longevity.
RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Grenache Testa dei Cherubini saw fully 37.5 months in wood, some 25% new, but its influence is imperceptible; the wine is strikingly pure and vibrant. Krankl commented that the longer the wines spend in barrel, the more slowly they seem to evolve in bottle. Unfurling in the glass with aromas of juicy red cherries, peonies and plums, it's initially quite reserved, becoming more expressive with air. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, layered and very concentrated, with strikingly fine-grained, revolved tannins, juicy acids and impressive length and depth. Like the 2015 Le Chemin Vers l'Hérésie also reviewed in this report, it's remarkably pure and integrated and ranks as one of the finest Grenache bottlings I've tasted from Sine Qua Non. It's also one wine that will clearly benefit from bottle age, no matter how tempting it may be when it's released in November of this year.
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Sine Qua Non

Sine Qua Non

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Sine Qua Non, California
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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

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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.

The most famous region today, of course, is the acclaimed Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as king.

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.

The Central Coast, Lodi and the Sierra Foothills also excel in the production of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and remain active frontiers for newer varieties, namely Rhône and Spanish.

The cool Anderson Valley in California’s North Coast region is a fantastic source of Pinot noir.

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MVV513442_2014 Item# 513442