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Sine Qua Non This Is Not An Exit Syrah 2009

Syrah/Shiraz from California
  • RP97
  • WS95
15.6% ABV
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15.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

About as good as it gets across the board, these singular, incredible wines are the result of an obsessive attention to detail at all stages of the wine making process. There is no secret or hidden magic going on here. The incredibly talented and down-to-earth Manfred Krankl simply walks the walk as opposed to only talking about attention to detail or offering up the standard, wine is made in the vineyard comments. Looking at the vintages focused on here, 2009 has produced a decadent, voluptuous style that offers up thrilling levels of fruit as well as an approachable, heady richness that-s hard to resist. While they possess ample depth and structure, I would drink these before either the 2010s or 2011s. The 2010s here are stunning and have everything; gorgeous fruit, awesome concentration and incredible purity. While the most age-worthy of the recent vintages, they're a spectacular drink even today. The 2011s, which were all tasted out of barrel, have additional freshness and focus over the 2010s. They have solid concentration and overall balanced profiles that should allow them to cruise in the cellar.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
An extended barrel-aged release, the 2009 Syrah This Is Not An Exit is 100% from the Santa Rita Hills Eleven Confessions Vineyard and checks in as a blend of 80% Syrah, 12% Grenache, 7% Roussanne and 1% Viognier that saw 41.5 months in 65% new French oak. Slightly exotic, with notions of kirsch, flower oil, smoked meats, licorice and graphite, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness and depth, loads of fruit and a blockbuster finish. More approachable than the 2010 extended barrel age Syrah, this beauty will still have 15+ years of longevity. Drink now-2024.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
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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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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.

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Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

FRO128525_2009 Item# 128525