3 immediate , 0 marketplace
1 immediate , 0 marketplace
Average critic rating : 99.0 points
SQN’s Syrahs are dynamite. In 2001, Krankl began to experiment with a limited production Syrah aged over 40 months in new oak (a la Marcel Guigal’s famous Cote Roties - La Mouline, La Landonne, and La Turque). The second rendition of this cuvee, the 2002 Heart Chorea, is a Cote Rotie-like blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier. Most of the fruit comes from the Alban and White Hawk vineyards. The opaque purple-colored 2002 Heart Chorea possesses extraordinary levels of concentration, intensity, and subtle nuances, a fabulous nose of charcoal, acacia flowers, creme de cassis, blackberries, pain grille, and espresso roast. Opulent, full-bodied, and super-intense, but neither heavy nor out of balance, it is unfortunate that production of this unreal Syrah is less than 100 cases. ||Vineyard sources are gradually changing at Sine Qua Non as a movement to 100% estate fruit from vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills and sites near the winery in Ventura County come into full production. However, at present some grapes emanate from other sources, particularly white grapes from the Alban Vineyard, and Grenache and Syrah from Alban, Alta Mesa, Bien Nacido, Shadow Canyon, and White Hawk vineyards. Yields were unbelievably small in 2003 (white varietals yielded .9 tons of fruit per acre, Pinot Noir 1.64 tons per acre, Grenache .32 tons per acre, and Syrah 1.20 tons per acre). In 2004, white varietal yields were 1.49 tons per acre, Pinot Noir 1.19 tons per acre, Grenache 1.04 tons per acre, and Syrah a whopping 1.48 tons per acre. Yields rose by 20-40% in 2005. Longtime readers know that I consider these offerings to be about as remarkable as New World wines can be. They possess extraordinary richness and nuances as well as superb balance, purity, and aging potential. The whites are whole cluster pressed and go straight to barrel without any stabilization or settling, and everything is fermented with indigenous yeasts. No racking takes place until bottling, which is usually more than a year after the harvest. The reds are 100% destemmed, although Grenache stems have been utilized on occasion. One to two ton open top fermenters are used, and following a cold soak that can last up to seven days, the wines are fermented with 2-3 daily punch downs. They are kept on their skins for a maximum of 2 plus weeks. All malolactic takes place in barrel, and the wines are bottled 18-24 months after the harvest with minimal clarification. Manfred Krankl, a true believer in radical viticulture, practices extensive crop-thinning, shoot positioning, etc. The meticulous attention to detail is evident in both the vineyard and the winery.||Tel. (805) 649-8901 Wine Advocate.August, 2006
Sine Qua Non: The Importance
Sine Qua Non has emerged as arguable one of the most collectable fine wine producers on the planet; a Rhône-inspired Californian tour de force. Their fame exploded in the early 2000s, leading to what Robert Parker described as “an absolutely brilliant succession of true works of genius”, which has not abated since. On the global fine wine market, there are few who can touch Sine Qua Non in terms of sheer desirability and originality.
Robert Parker has called Sine Qua Non: “one of the world’s great wineries”, and it has earned a place alongside icons such as Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Leroy, Petrus and the first growths for its “compelling, singular and world-class wines that are like no other being produced on Planet Earth.”
Parker’s colleague Jeb Dunnuck concurs: “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.” Antonio Galloni seconds the motion: “The sheer drive for perfection and attention to detail at Sine Qua Non is something I have rarely witnessed anywhere else in the world.” And Jeff Leve seals it: “There is no winery on earth that competes with what Manfred and Elaine Krankl have done at Sine Qua Non for creativity… The wine is stunning young and with bottle age. There is nothing out there like it.”
Sine Qua Non: The Insight
Those looking to buy Sine Qua Non need to be fast and well connected, such is demand and rarity. Critic scores are consistently huge with the number of perfect 100 pointers from Wine Advocate extending well into double figures.
Staple Rhône varietals are used – Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Roussanne, Viognier and Chardonnay – but Sine Qua Non believe that each vintage is unique, they therefore produce different cuvées each year in tiny quantities. Each one is individually and idiosyncratically named, receiving new and unique label designs every time. The range is therefore diverse and extensive and the labels are works of art in their own right…
Robert Parker offers some broad-brush advice: “In an ocean of mediocre wines, the SQN offerings are totally profound. They inspire and energise anyone who tastes them…. They produce California’s finest Grenache, one of the two or three best Syrahs and some of the top white varietal blends in addition to some utterly profound dessert wines.”
Wines are produced in tiny batches and released via tightly-controlled allocations through the domaine’s private mailing list, making the hard to come by. However, FINE+RARE’s extensive network can provide fleeting access to them before they are snapped up by collectors and aficionados.
Sine Qua Non: The Background
Born in Austria, Manfred Krankl moved to Los Angeles in California where he met Elaine, his now wife. The pair began to dabble in winemaking, supported by Bryan Babcock and John Alban in the early years, with the idea of making wines for their restaurant. But in the end the winemaking consumed all. Their winery was established in 1994 and the first official release, Queen of Spades 1994, has become highly collectable and vastly expensive. The rest of their wines have followed suit.
Sine Qua Non’s winemaking facility is located in Ventura County, not far from the Santa Barbara vineyards from which they source their fruit. Although some grapes are bought, much of the fruit comes from their own vineyards, which are as eclectically named as their wines: Eleven Confessions in Santa Rita Hills, Cumulus in Oak View, The Third Twin in Los Alamos, Molly Aïda in Tepusquet Canyon. Manfred Krankl’s winemaking techniques have been compared to Etienne Guigal’s, opting for small volume, natural yeasts, extended lees ageing for whites, repeat racking for reds and new oak. Sweet wines were produced with help from legendary Austrian winemaker Alois Kracher, hence their name: Mr K.
Sine Qua Non is a Latin term meaning a thing that is absolutely necessary. For all serious collectors, owning Sine Qua Non’s Central Coast AVA wines has become absolutely necessary.
See all wines from this Producer
FINE+RARE offers UK home delivery through our logistics partner London City Bond, with next day deliveries available for Central London addresses.
We deliver Monday to Friday; charges are £ 16 + VAT for up to 10 cases (12x75cl or equivalent) for most UK postcodes.
For delivery charges to Highlands, Islands and outlying areas, please contact our Customer Service Team.
For deliveries into Hong Kong and Singapore, we offer a dedicated air and sea service.
For more details regarding delivery to Hong Kong, Singapore and all other destinations, please view our International Delivery information page.
Spirits cannot travel on our services to Hong Kong, Singapore or Macau and require separate shipments. Please contact our Customer Service Team for further information.
Our storage costs are highly competitive. We will happily accept cases or single bottles, charging pro-rata based on the number of bottles and length of storage period.
Unlike many other wine companies, our service includes storage of duty paid wines as well as in bond from any reputable source, not just those bought through FINE+RARE.
Please visit our F+R Storage information page for more details.
IN BOND AND DUTY PAID DELIVERY TO STORAGE ACCOUNTS:
FINE+RARE can arrange delivery of your wines to your personal fine wine storage account:
Deliveries within London City Bond or to a Vinotheque storage account are charged at £ 8 + VAT for up to 10 cases (12x75cl or equivalent).
Deliveries to all other storage providers are charged at £ 16 + VAT for up to 10 cases (12x75cl or equivalent).
Please contact our Customer Service Team if you have any questions.