A wine that started out mind blowing, and just went up from there, was the 2006 Sine Qua Non Grenache In the Crosshairs! A blend of 84% Grenache, 12% Syrah, and 4% Viognier that spent a full 32 months in French oak, it delivers an incredible drinking experience with awesome aromatics, full-bodied richness, and a lightness and purity on the palate that’s hard to come by. Gorgeous red and black fruits, licorice, and assorted spices all emerge from this beauty and it is seamless, elegant, and perfectly proportioned. Despite the extended time in barrel, there is not a trace of wood and it stays remarkably pure, concentrated, and balanced. While this beauty should continue to shine for another decade, I see no reason to hold off.
This is Sine Qua Non’s extended barrel-aged Grenache (meaning that in most vintages since 2003, Krankl has produced two cuvees of Grenache, one aged 18-22 months before bottling, and the other one with extended barrel-aging, in this case 32 months in wood). A blend of 84% Grenache, 12% Syrah and 4% Viognier, all from the 11 Confessions Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills, this is one of the most extraordinarily elegant Grenaches Krankl has produced. It is an intellectual wine, yet it doesn’t wimp out by any means. It is full-bodied and voluptuously textured, with notes of spice box, licorice and Provencal herbs, copious quantities of black currant and kirsch liqueur, stunning richness and a finish lasting close to a minute. This amazing effort confirms Krankl’s meticulous and nearly obsessively detailed work in both the vineyard and the winery. Anticipated maturity: now-2022. (RP)
Truly intriguing, showing gorgeous aromas of spice and pepper, with a medley of berry scents. There's wonderful purity of flavor, with depth, density, focus and intensity. Expands rather nicely on the palate, where the mix of blackberry, wild berry and huckleberry flavors fan out, shaded by spicy, peppery scents. Drink now through 2022. *Collectibles* (JL)
This is very sleek and beautiful with blueberry and spices. Beautiful purity of strawberry fruit. Floral and gorgeous. Full yet reserved and refined with silky tannins and a pretty finish. Cookie and cocoa notes. Hard not to drink now.
Opaque ruby. A wild bouquet exudes scents of candied red and dark berries, incense, smoked meat and black olive. I'd have guessed that there was a lot more syrah in here. Lush and palate-coating black raspberry and boysenberry flavors are lifted by zesty acidity and complemented by exotic floral pastille and spice flavors. Strikes an impressive balance of richness and vivacity and finishes with outstanding clarity and smoky, spicy persistence. With air some fine-grained tannins peeked out, but this is really a wall of seductive fruit, floral and spice qualities. (JR)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)