2003 Little E: Named after Manfred Krankl’s wife, Elaine, this blend of 78% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah was one of the first cuvees from the estate’s 11 Confessions Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills. The rest of the fruit came from the Alban, Alta Mesa and Bien Nacido sites. Aged primarily in 300-liter hogsheads, this wine performed brilliantly in the tastings, starting a succession of prodigious Grenaches to emerge from Sine Qua Non. Fabulous fruit intensity, with loads of black cherry, black currant, licorice, incense, and some smoke are followed by a wine with good acidity, velvety yet moderate tannins, and a wonderfully layered, multi-dimensional mouthfeel. This wine is drinking great already, but is still a young wine, from an evolutionary standpoint a mere adolescent, and has at least another decade of sumptuous consumption ahead of it. (RP)
Red-ruby. Very fresh aromas of dark cherry and nutty oak. A sweet, vibrant fruit bomb of a grenache with superb clarity of dark berry flavors and brilliant framing acidity. With aeration, this builds impressively on the back end, with the fruit flavors turning redder and more classically grenache. Impressively ripe and long, with tannins buried in fruit. (ST)
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