100 points - limited
Limited new Syrah from cult producer Sine Qua Non.
100 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2017 Syrah Eleven Confessions Vineyard is the wine of the vintage, and Syrah simply doesn’t get any better. Even in these more difficult vintages, I’m always amazed at what this estate is able to achieve. Dense purple-hued, with an incredible bouquet of sandalwood, dried flowers, incense, saddle leather, and assorted red and blue fruits, it hits the palate with flawless balance, a deep, full-bodied, concentrated mouthfeel, and a heavenly finish. It shows a more up-front, exuberant, sexy style, yet there’s still ample underlying structure and depth. Reminding me of Guigal’s Côte Rôtie La Mouline (maybe amped up just slightly), drink it over the coming 15-20 years. It’s worth pointing out that due to the difficulty in trademarking names today, the longer aged, 100% Eleven Confessions Vineyard Syrah and Grenache will simply bear the name “Eleven Confessions Vineyard” going forward."
97+ Points Robert Parker: ""This is a single-vineyard Syrah-dominant blend coming from the Eleven Confessions Estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. As mentioned in my report last year, 33 acres are planted here. Eleven acres of Pinot Noir were already planted when they purchased the property, about half of which has been grafted over, and a further 22 acres were planted by the Krankls in 2001. In order to fully ripen Manfred’s preferred medium—mainly Rhône varieties—in this area more commonly planted to cooler-climate grapes such as Pinot and Chardonnay, the Krankls need to go super low on the yields and long on the hang time. “This vineyard is by far the coolest of our vineyards,” Manfred recently explained. “Sometimes we don’t harvest until November.” Punitive yields of 1.5 tons per acre or less are common. In the years when it’s good and ready to sing, Eleven Confessions is used to make a single-vineyard wine under the Sine Qua Non label. “The wines have a lot of structure and presence,” Manfred commented. “The soil is mainly heavy clay, so the wines can be pretty muscular.” The blend is 88% Syrah, 3% Petite Syrah, 7.6% Grenache and 1.4% Viognier. Twenty-nine percent was fermented using whole clusters. It was aged for around 38 months in 38% new French oak, 11% used barrels and 30% concrete. Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Syrah Eleven Confessions bursts with notions of baked plums, stewed blackberries and black cherry preserves, with an undercurrent of Sichuan pepper, violets, chocolate mint and charcuterie, plus a lifted suggestion of black raspberries. Rich, full-bodied and decadently opulent, the palate explodes with pepper-spiked black and red berry preserves, framed by fine-grained tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing epically long and spicy. Very impressive.
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. "
100 points - limited
Limited new wine from cult producer Sine Qua Non.
99 Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Grenache Profuga is composed of 77.5% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 8.3% Syrah, 3.3% Petite Sirah and 0.9% Viognier. The vineyard sources are 38% Cumulus Estate, 35% The Third Twin Estate, 23% Eleven Confessions Estate and 4% Bien Nacido Vineyard. Forty-one percent whole cluster was performed, predominately on the Grenache. The small proportion of Viognier was co-fermented with red grapes, but interestingly, because it ripens earlier than the reds, the white berries were frozen and added to the reds at the time of fermentation. As an added bonus, these frozen grapes help to cool and, therefore, slow the fermentation. The wine was aged for around 23 months in 37% new French oak, 57.8% used oak and 5.2% concrete...
...Deep garnet-purple in color, the wine does bedazzling pirouettes out of the glass with the most gorgeous rose oil, kirsch, licorice and fragrant earth scents, leading into a powerful core of black raspberries, redcurrant jelly and powdered cinnamon plus a waft of underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is incredibly fresh, elegant and polished, yet make no mistake—there is a lot of power and energy on the mid-palate. This is all beautifully framed by tightly knit, very finely grained tannins, and the finish holds this provocative, lingering siren’s note, delivering exotic spices and rose-laced accents. Beguiling. This wine was tasted as a tank sample to be bottled in two days, so this is pretty much “it.” With regard to name, according to Elaine and Manfred Krankl, Profuga is "the Latin female version of refugee, fugitive, deserter, exiled, eluding one's grasp."
"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."