Still fresh and lively, and much younger tasting than the 1998 Antagonists or the 1995 Red Handed, this wine was certainly the biggest of the early vintages from Sine Qua Non’s Grenache program. The label says the alcohol is at 14.9%, but there is a freshness and elegance to the wine (80% Grenache, 18% Syrah and 2% Viognier) that would suggest much lower alcohols, for those who foolishly as well as erroneously equate finesse with lower alcohols. Structured, still deep ruby/purple-tinged, with fresh raspberry and black cherry fruit and some loamy soil notes, as well as hints of barbecue smoke and pepper, the wine is full-bodied, ripe, yet still somewhat tightly knit, suggesting that better things are yet to come. This obviously can be drunk now, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it improve over the next several years and last for at least another decade. (RP)
Bright ruby-red. Oaky aromas of very ripe red fruits, spice cake and mocha. Superripe-verging-on-porty, with excellent fruit intensity and a strong oak component. Finishes strong and persistent but quite dry, with black raspberry and spice cake flavors and big, ripe tannins. (ST)
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