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Sine Qua Non In the Crosshairs 2006

Grenache from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • RP100
  • WS97
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2006 In the Cross Hairs 11 Confessions Vineyard: This is Sine Qua Non’s extended barrel-aged Grenache (meaning that in most vintages since 2003, Krankl has produced two cuvees of Grenache, one aged 18-22 months before bottling, and the other one with extended barrel-aging, in this case 32 months in wood). A blend of 84% Grenache, 12% Syrah and 4% Viognier, all from the 11 Confessions Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills, this is one of the most extraordinarily elegant Grenaches Krankl has produced. It is an intellectual wine, yet it doesn’t wimp out by any means. It is full-bodied and voluptuously textured, with notes of spice box, licorice and Provencal herbs, copious quantities of black currant and kirsch liqueur, stunning richness and a finish lasting close to a minute. This amazing effort confirms Krankl’s meticulous and nearly obsessively detailed work in both the vineyard and the winery. Anticipated maturity: now-2022.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
Truly intriguing, showing gorgeous aromas of spice and pepper, with a medley of berry scents. There's wonderful purity of flavor, with depth, density, focus and intensity. Expands rather nicely on the palate, where the mix of blackberry, wild berry and huckleberry flavors fan out, shaded by spicy, peppery scents. Drink now through 2022. 202 cases made.
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Sine Qua Non

Sine Qua Non

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Sine Qua Non, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, 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.

Sta. Rita Hills

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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.

Grenache

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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.

FRO111368_2006 Item# 111368