100 points - limited
Limited new Syrah from cult producer Sine Qua Non.
98-100 Points Robert Parker: Manfred Krankl did point out that the name of this wine is not definitely but probably going to be “Squeezebox.” There are still a bunch of hoops to jump through before the label is signed, sealed and delivered. He shared the artwork for the label with me, again probably final but not yet definite, but which I think fans of are going to love. Who knew Mr. K played the squeezebox? Turns out they changed the label to "Ziehharmonika."
The vineyard sources for this wine are 51% The Third Twin, 43% Eleven Confessions and 6% Cumulus—all estate-owned vineyards. The 2018 Syrah Squeezebox is composed of 82% Syrah, 6.7% Mourvèdre, 5% Petite Sirah, 2.3% Grenache, 2.7% Viognier and 1.3% Muscat. “I think Muscat is the number one white grape for me to blend with reds,” Manfred said. “It kinda triples the effect of the wine.” The wine is due to be bottled in August 2020, very soon after I tasted it, and after 23 months of aging. It was reared in 51% new French oak, 46% in used barrels and 3% in terracotta. (The terracotta is only used for whites.) Very deep garnet-purple colored, the nose kicks off with bright, vivacious scents of freshly cracked black pepper, licorice, baker’s chocolate and menthol before opening out to a core just singing of Black Forest cake, wild blueberries and ripe blackberries with wafts of smoky bacon and garrigue. Full-bodied, firm and beautifully textured with perfectly ripe, velvety tannins, it has invigorating freshness and a very long, multi-layered finish. Its rock-solid structure and intensity suggest this wine will be very long lived indeed.
"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."
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. "
Limited new white release from cult producer Sine Qua Non. SQN 2018 "Aperta" White now available.
100 Points Robert Parker: "I wasn’t able to taste this wine last year, because the Krankl’s didn’t believe it was ready. “I held this white back longer in barrel,” Manfred said. “The more I saw it in barrel on the lees, the better I liked it.” The 2018 Aperta is a blend of 38% Chardonnay, 25% Viognier, 22% Roussanne, 6% Petit Manseng and 9% Muscat. The vineyard components are 10% Cumulus Estate, 49% Eleven Confessions Estate, 30% Bien Nacido vineyard and 11% The Third Twin Estate. It spent around 24 months aging in 21% used barrels (two to four years old) and 79% new French oak (60% were larger puncheons). The nose opens with alluring notions of honeycomb, toasted almonds, orange blossoms, musk melons and poached pears with surfacing scents of lemongrass and preserved ginger. The rich, full-bodied palate is built with exciting tension, delivering a satiny texture and layers upon layers of apple, citrus and melon-inspired flavors with a spicy/savory undercurrent. Minerals and toasted nuts emerge on the long, long, long lingering finish. This is an astonishingly complex dry white, which I anticipate will age gracefully like an epic white Burgundy. Readers should note that this wine was decanted three hours prior to tasting, and it opened considerably over the one to two hours that I had it in the glass. During its first 4-6 years in bottle, I would certainly recommend decanting it for a least an hour prior to serving. 906 cases were made."
97 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Held back in barrel longer than usual (24 months) and based on 38% Chardonnay, 25% Viognier, 22% Roussanne, and the rest Muscat and Petit Manseng, the 906 case 2018 Aperta is incredibly exotic (it reminds me of the La Dorian Condrieu from Guigal) with notes of tangerine, flower oil, apricots, and toasty nuances. With good acidity, full-bodied richness, and just flat-out gorgeous purity as well as balance, this singular white will benefit from just a year in bottle and I suspect evolve gracefully for a decade."