2015 Sine Qua Non M & E Assortment Sine Qua Non, Sta. Rita Hills, California, USA
99 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate (June 2019)
M Syrah: 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.
100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate (June 2019)
E Grenache: This is a single-vineyard Grenache-dominated, barrel-selection blend coming from the Eleven Confessions Estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. It bears Elaine Krankl’s initial and a portrait Manfred made of Elaine on the label. The blend is 82% Grenache, 12% Syrah, 5% Petite Syrah and 1% Viognier, and 56% was fermented using whole clusters. It was aged for around 38 months in French oak, 28% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Grenache E slides beguilingly out of the glass with a powerfully evocative, earthy/meaty nose of wood smoke, grilled meats, fragrant soil, truffles and iron ore with a core of kirsch, blackberry pie, Black Forest cake and aniseed plus touches of wild sage, rose hip tea and Indian spices. The palate is full-bodied, surprisingly muscular and built like a brick house with an unbelievable structure of very fine, densely pixilated tannins supporting the generous, multi-faceted layers, finishing with epic length, jaw-dropping texture and tons of cerebral mineral and spice nuances. WOW! 900 cases, 228 magnums and 30 double magnums were made.
98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (September 2019)
M Syrah: The 2015 Syrah M will thrill Sine Qua Non lovers. Rich and sumptuous in the glass, with tremendous aromatic nuance from the whole clusters, the 2015 possesses mind-blowing intensity, yet also remains light on its feet. What impresses me most is how much energy and vivacity the 2015 shows given the tiny yields that year. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is yet another stunning wine from Sine Qua Non.
100 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (September 2019)
E Grenache: The 2015 Grenache E, from Elaine and Manfred Krankl’s Eleven Confessions Vineyard, is stunningly beautiful. Remarkably light on its feet for such a sumptuous wine, the 2015 has so much to offer. Beautifully expressive aromatics make a strong opening impression. Dark red and purplish berry fruit, mint, sweet spice and licorice develop with air, but it is the wine’s overall feel that stands out most. At times, the E is quite powerful, while in other moments it is much more delicate. That contrast makes for an utterly captivating wine.
99 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (October 2019)
M Syrah: 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.
98+ Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (October 2019)
E Grenache: The 2015 Grenache E comes all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard and spent a whopping 38 months in 28% new French oak, with the balance in used barrels of varying sizes. An incredible effort that offers complex notes of cured meats, graphite, ground white and black pepper, flowers, and cassis, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, and a purity level that’s just about off the charts. Showing the concentrated, powerful, structured style of the vintage, give bottles 3-4 years in the cellar and enjoy over the following decade or more.