||Sine Qua Non
1996 Sine Qua Non Left Field Pinot - Rare 1st Pinot Vintage!! The 1996 Pinot Noir from Oregon's Shea Vineyard called Left Field is the first wine from Sine Qua Non that has not received an outstanding rating. The color is medium ruby/garnet and the nose complex with plenty of smoky new oak intermixed with plum damp forest aromas and berry fruit. Like many 1996 Oregon Pinot Noirs there is a slight austerity and hollowness in the mid-palate. This elegant offering could easily pass for a classy Burgundy in a blind tasting. All the Sine Qua Non wines reviewed in this segment are bottled with virtually no fining and rarely any filtration. RP Only 96 cases produced! The price for this bottle has soared at auctions in the past year! With so little of this Cult Classic around we don't see any reasons to see this trend changing. The name Manfred chose for his label, Sine Qua Non, is Latin for â€œsomething indispensable.â€ Along with his wife and business partner, Elaine, he later made wine for several years at Alban Vineyards in Edna Valley near Arroyo Grande. His innovative approach to labeling and packaging instantly stirred interest among wine aficionados. For Krankl, no wine is ever duplicated. Every wine from each vintage is always singular so each wine is given a different name, a unique and often humorous, even scurrilous, label, and a distinctive, even odd, bottle shape. Krankl is quite a talented artist and he designs the labels himself starting with a painting and then converting the artwork to a wood cut or linoleum cut. The wines are quite distinctive. They are bold, extracted, concentrated and flashy wines often with high alcohol, but retaining a respectful balance. When asked about the alcohol levels, Krankl responds, â€œI am attempting to craft well-proportioned wines that have fruit, acid and tannin in balance with the alcohol. Taken alone, the alcohol level does not signify much.â€ It wasnâ€™t long before Robert Parker, Jr., and other wine critics became enamored with the wines and Sine Qua Non quickly became a cult collectable.