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Sine Qua Non Lightmotif 2014

Other White Blends from California
  • RP97
  • V94
15.4% ABV
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15.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Starting with the whites and a rich, thrillingly concentrated and unctuous wine from Manfred, the 2014 White Wine Lightmotif is made from 47% Roussanne, 21% Chardonnay, 14% Petite Manseng, 11% Viognier and 7% Marsanne that spent 19 months in a combination of concrete eggs, new French oak, neutral barrels and a tiny portion in stainless steel. Coming from close to equal parts Eleven Confessions, Cumulus and Bien Nacido vineyards, this beauty sports a medium gold color to go with a rich, layered profile that carries tons of ripe peach, honeycomb, pineapple, flowers and citrus. Pure, elegant and silky on the palate, with full-bodied richness, it never puts a foot wrong, is ethereally textured and has a great finish. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.
V 94
Vinous
The 2014 White Wine Lightmotif is striking. Gorgeous, captivating aromatics meld into yellow orchard fruit, peach, mint and apricot jam. Rich, layered and voluptuous, but with notable energy, the 2014 exudes freshness. With air, the 2014 can be enjoyed young, but these wines have a way of developing beautifully in bottle. This is one of the more restrained young whites I have tasted at Sine Qua Non. The blend is 47% Roussanne, 21% Chardonnay, 14% Petite Manseng, 11% Viognier and 7% Marsanne, from 41% Eleven Confessions, 30% Cumulus and 29% Bien Nacido.
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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.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.

Other White Blends

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With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

JIM166993_2014 Item# 166993