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Sine Qua Non Incognito 2000

Grenache from Central Coast, California
  • RP100
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

"The 2000 Incognito (a blend of 95% Grenache and 5% Syrah) is the finest Grenache-based effort the Krankls have yet produced. A black/ruby/purple color is followed by a lavishly exotic nose of super-rich as well as super-ripe black cherries, black currants, blackberries, licorice, pepper, and other heavenly delights. It is a wine of extraordinary opulence, texture, and purity with a finish that lasts 65+ seconds. Undeniably the greatest Grenache I have tasted from California, it is a reference point for what can be achieved by someone pushing the envelope of quality at all stages - viticultural, winemaking, and cellar work. Kudos to the Krankls. It should drink well for 10-15 years, but who can resist it that long?"
-Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2000 Incognito: This remains an historic wine and probably the greatest Grenache (95% Grenache and 5% Syrah) made in California up to this timeline. We were lucky enough to have this from a magnum at the vertical tasting, although I have recently had it from my cellar, as I have drunk the last remaining 750 ml formats I owned. A classic casebook in the glories of Grenache, this wine, which does have a little Syrah in it, has a dense plum/ruby color and an explosive nose of kirsch liqueur, incense, wood spice, pepper and earth. Ripe, full-bodied, and opulent, with a velvety texture, a magnificent, multi-layered, skyscraper-like mouthfeel, yet no sense of heaviness or any jagged edges, this is a glorious, voluptuously textured Grenache that scores high on all hedonistic and intellectual levels. I can’t see it getting any better, as it is fully mature, so owners of it are advised to drink it up over the next few years.
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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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Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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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.

TSZ95148_2000 Item# 95148