DescriptionSine Qua Non Grenache 2003
"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." (99 pts. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #196, Aug. 2011)
"Other than Alban Vineyards, no California winery makes better Grenache than SQN. Manfred Krankl has produced some magnificent examples, including the 2003 Li’l E (named after his adorable wife, Elaine) is a blend of 78% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre, and 10% Syrah. Half of the grapes are from the Eleven Confessions home vineyard and the rest are from the Alban, Alta Mesa, and Bien Nacido sites. This cuvee is aged primarily in 300 liter hogsheads, and, because of extremely tiny yields, only a minuscule 150 cases were produced. It boasts a deep ruby/purple hue, a wild mountain berry fruit, blueberry, flower, and kirsch-scented nose, superb intensity, full body, good underlying acidity, and sneaky tannins lurking under the surface. The latter component does not preclude drinking this wine now, but this brilliant Grenache will last for 6-10 years. It is a reference point for what can be achieved with this fickle varietal, which is probably even more difficult to make into great wine than Pinot Noir." (96 pts. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #166, Aug. 2006)
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