Overview of the Wine
Sine Qua Non was created after the 1994 harvest of a Bien Nacido Syrah named “The Queen of Spades”. Winemaker Manfred Krankl feels strongly that each vintage is a completely unique wine and thus he gives each wine a unique name. He also creates the artwork for each new label himself. Previously, Manfred had made wines with Bryan Babcock and John Alban and still sources much of his fruit from Alban’s vineyard. The basic white wines have always been a white blend of Chardonnay, Roussanne and Viognier and a red wine based on Syrah plus Grenache. Sometimes there are small quantities of Rose and a Grenache-based red.
Sine Qua Non has its own winemaking facility in Ventura, California not far from the Santa Barbara vineyards where the fruit is sourced from. In the last few years Manfred and his wife, Elaine, have begun creating their own vineyards dedicated to Rhone varietals. Their winemaking philosophy is to work in very small batches, gravity flow, natural yeasts (unless a fermentation problem is anticipated), long lees aging for the whites and repeated racking for the reds to open them up. This is a modified explanation of a very dedicated and artistic approach to winemaking. The wines are simultaneously very rich and elegant, superbly balanced and thoroughly harmonious with food, never overwhelming.
Grape / Blend
88.7% Grenache, 10.6% Syrah, 0.7% Viognier
Central Coast, California
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Quite dark for Grenache, but brilliant...even sparkly. Right away it is forward, sprite and lively. There is a singing nose with a dark backdrop. I get tones of pomegranate and a nuance of sap from the under-the-bark limb of a tree. Fresh spring herbs too. The mouth is fanned out and broad with quiet notes of chopped olives. The wine is very soft and gentle, but has amazing persistence. A mild and caressing finish sticks with you until the cows come home. The longer it sits in the glass, the better it gets. It is sneaky, very supple and mind-blowingly determined.
99 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The 2017 Grenache Eleven Confessions Vineyard, which will be the name going forward for this wine sourced exclusively form the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, reveals a gorgeous perfume of assorted red and blue fruits as well as iron, ground pepper, Asian spices, and herbes de Provence. Based on 88.7% Grenache, 10.6% Syrah, and the rest Viognier, this full-bodied, ultra-fine, deep, layered Grenache is just about as good as it gets. Drink it any time over the coming 10-15 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 - Vinous
The 2017 Grenache Eleven Confessions Vineyard is shockingly tight and unyielding today. That should not pose an issue in a few years' time, once the tannins soften, but readers should plan on cellaring the 2017 for at least a few years. Bright floral accents and red-toned fruit all run through this backward yet vibrant Grenache from Manfred and Elaine Krankl's Eleven Confessions Vineyard, so named because of the eleven clones planted in the vineyard. Dollops of Syrah and Viognier round out the blend.
Product size: 750ml