98 points - limited
Limited new Syrah from cult producer Sine Qua Non."
99 Points Robert Parker: "This is a single-vineyard Syrah-dominant blend coming from the Eleven Confessions Estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. It bears Manfred Krankl’s initial and a provocative self-portrait on the label. The blend is 90.6% Syrah, 4.4% Petite Syrah, 2.6% Grenache and 2.4% Viognier. Forty-three percent was fermented using whole clusters. It was aged for around 38 months in French oak, 66% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Syrah M starts off a little closed, slowly unfurling to show layer upon layer of savory notes: peppered salami, woodsmoke, marmite and black olives, beneath a profound core of preserved plums, blueberry coulis and Chinese five spice with fragrant touches of fenugreek, Sichuan pepper, crushed rocks and mossy bark. Exquisitely textured with firm, rounded tannins, the taut, full-bodied, muscular fruit is laced with seamless freshness, finishing with fantastic persistence. This is a Syrah for the long haul! 913 cases, 228 magnums and 30 double magnums were made....
....As I’m leaving Sine Qua Non, driving through their bucolic hills, past hay bales and farm buildings, with Cumulus Vineyard green and lush behind me, I can still taste the new releases. In particular, the new 2015 “E” Grenache and “M” Syrah are wines you don’t soon forget. An ironic smile starts to spread across my face. I’m thinking how the blurry image of Manfred on his new bottling of the 2015 Syrah “M” looks a little like Charles Bukowski. "
99 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The extended aged 2015 Syrah M is more backward and structured, with the 2015 vintage character front and center. Based on 90.6% Syrah and the rest Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Viognier, aged 38 months in 66% new oak, its deep purple color is followed by powerful notes of blackcurrants, blackberries, cedarwood, spiced meat, candle wax, and white flowers. It’s deep and full-bodied, with a huge mid-palate, building tannins, and one serious finish. This rocking beast of a Syrah stays remarkably elegant and perfectly balanced yet needs 4-5 years or more of bottle age. It’s going to evolve for two decades or more."
Limited new white release from cult producer Sine Qua Non. SQN 2017 "Tectumque" White now available.
97 Points Robert Parker: "Tectumque means 'shelter' in Latin. This wine was initially going to be called 'Inconnue' ('unknown' in French), but that name had already been trademarked. Naming wines is becoming impossible,' mentioned Manfred. 'Everything has already been taken. Even, 'No Name!'-- This is a blend of 38% Roussanne, 31% Petit Manseng, 18% Chardonnay, 9% Viognier and 4% Muscat. The vineyard components are 52% Cumulus Estate, 19% Eleven Confessions Estate, 18% Bien Nacido Vineyard and 11% The Third Twin Estate. It spent around 20 months aging in 9% concrete eggs, 4% amphora, 9% used barrels and 78% new French oak puncheons."
94 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Checking in as a blend of 38% Roussanne, 31% Petit Manseng, 18% Chardonnay, and the rest Viognier and Muscat, the 2017 White Wine Tectumque boasts a vivid gold hue as well as exotic notes of caramelized Meyer lemons, dried herbs, spice, and some distinct rocky, mineral-like nuances. With full-bodied richness and bright, racy acidity, this beautiful white is going to come together nicely with 2-3 years of bottle age. Give it plenty of air if drinking any time soon. "
98 points - limited
Limited new wine from cult producer Sine Qua Non.
96 Points Robert Parker: "The 2016 Grenache Dirt Vernacular wafts from the glass with heady aromas of kirsch, plums and Griotte cherries that mingle with nuances of sweet spice, rose petals and pepper. It saw 34% new oak (along with 53% used oak and 9% concrete), but it's hardly noticeable—much less so than in some of Sine Qua Non's debut Grenache bottlings. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich and chewy, with tangy acids despite its considerable power and ripeness, with a deep, layered mid-palate and a long, lusty finish. It's an eclectic blend of 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvèdre, 7% Touriga Nacional and 2.5% Petite Sirah that was fermented with 43% whole cluster—whole cluster being largely reserved for the Grenache component. The blend is dominated by estate fruit, but some 9% came from the Krankl's blocks at Bien Nacido Vineyard that are farmed to their specifications."
"There are few greater success stories in wine than that of Sine Qua Non’s Manfred Krankl. Austrian-born and showing up penniless in Los Angeles in 1980, he went on to create one of the greatest wine estates in the world today by sheer talent and work ethic."