2004 Sine Qua Non Ode to E Syrah - 100 pts - 750ml

In Stock Unavailable

Regular price $895.00 Sale

2004 Sine Qua Non Ode to E Syrah - 100 pts!

Sine Qua Non is one of California's most famous wine producers. Based just north of Los Angeles in Ventura County, and with most of its vineyards in Santa Barbara, it eschews the usual image of top California wine as being only from Napa Valley. That is not the only thing eschewed at Sine Qua Non – the same wine is rarely made more than once, turning the idea of the American icon wine on its head.

The cult winery specializes in Rhône grape varieties, with most of the red wines based on Syrah and Grenache. White wines are typically based on Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier and are also modelled after Rhône wines. While most of Sine Qua Non's vineyards are located in Santa Barbara, the home vineyard (and the winery) is located in Oak View. Many of the wines are labeled under the more generic California and Central Coast AVAs, rather than the specific AVAs the vineyards are located in, giving more freedom when it comes to blending.

Sine Qua Non's first vintage was 1994, as Austrian-born winemaker Manfred Krankl released three barrels of Syrah as "Queen of Spades" with a label he had designed himself. Previously, Krankl had made wines with other winemakers – including the "Black and Blue" wine with Havens Cellars and several wines with John Alban of Alban Vineyards. After releasing Queen of Spades, Krankl sent a bottle to Robert Parker, who promptly gave the wine 95 points – then the highest he'd given any American wine based on a Rhône variety


Product Details

Varietal Syrah
Vintage 2004
Rating 100 RP
Bottle Size 750 ml
Bottle Quantity 1
Country USA
Region California
Location Central Coast
Producer Sine Qua Non
Color Red
Wine Type Table

Robert Parker

Rating 100 RP - The 2004 Syrah Ode to E (a blend of 94% Syrah, 4% Grenache, and 2% Viognier) will ultimately spend 43 months in oak. (The debut vintage of this long-aged Syrah, the 2001 Heart Chorea, demonstrates that this has become one of the world's most prodigious Syrahs.) The 2004 Ode to E exhibits extraordinary purity, and beautiful sweet blackberry and cassis notes along with hints of graphite, camphor, and a subtle, but intense meaty character. Unbelievably concentrated, but neither heavy nor overbearing, this exceptional Syrah possesses a phenomenal personality, an amazing seamlessness, and no hard edges. It should be riveting when released and age easily for 12-15+ years. I don't know whether it's catching on or not, but there is a school of nonsense going around that somehow low yields are overrated. Of course, farmers who treat their vineyards like industrial plants, and wineries who do not control vineyards, or have accountants running the bottom line, are the usual suspects making this specious argument. From my perspective, thirty years of experience have always suggested that vineyards with the lowest yields tend to produce the most interesting wines. Sine Qua Non has emerged as one of the world's greatest wineries over the last decade, and low yields are part of the reason. Yields for their white wine varietals have gone from .91 tons per acre in 2003, to their most generous yield of 1.86 tons per acre in 2005. Their red varietal yields have increased from a scary, financially disastrous .32 tons per acre for the 2003 Grenache, to a whopping 2.11 tons per acre in 2005. In 2007, yields averaged 1.28 tons per acre for the white varietals, 1.31 tons per acre for Grenache, and 1.52 tons per acre for Syrah. (I did not taste the 2007 SQN wines, but other Central Coast 2007s I did taste suggest this will be a great vintage for this region.) When tasting wines such as Sine Qua Non, these statistics mean something because the Grenache is the finest in the New World, the Syrah begs to be compared with the greatest of France, California, and Australia, and the white wine blends assembled by Manfred Krankl are as sumptuous and complex as the world's finest Chardonnays, even though there is little Chardonnay included in recent vintages, and there will be none in future releases. The ultimate "garage" winery, this operation's back alley warehouse looks like a set scene from the movie Mad Max, but inside are the elixirs of dreams. Despite Krankl's already lofty reputation, he continues to fine tune and build more nuances and complexity into his wines without sacrificing their intrinsic exuberance, purity, intensity, and individuality. I am increasingly convinced that no one in Australia, America, South America, or anywhere else in the New World makes a finer, more complex and compelling Grenache than Manfred Krankl. He is now producing two Grenache cuvees, an experimental, highly successful, long barrel-aged (40-43 months) effort, and a Grenache that is aged in oak for nearly two years prior to bottling. There are also two renditions of Syrah, a long-aged offering that is essentially an hommage to Marcel Guigal's single vineyard Cote Roties (the SQN Syrahs are aged 42 months in 100% new French oak), and a Syrah that is bottled after 21-22 months in oak. These cuvees are rarely 100% Syrah as Krankl frequently adds in some co-fermented Viognier as well as Grenache. There are four sweet wines being made, but, unfortunately, the Mr. K. series will end because of the premature and tragic death of the renowned Alois (Luis) Kracher, the genius behind so many extraordinary sweet wines from Austria, and a partner with Krankl. In a year filled with some extraordinary tastings (2005 Bordeaux, 2007 Southern Rhones to come), this tasting at the so-called "garage dâ or" on the back streets of Ventura stands along side the wine-tasting/dinner at the Great Wall of China as one of the two wine-tasting events of the year. RP

Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator

Burghound

Burghound

Winery Details

Varietal Syrah
Vintage 2004
Rating 100 RP
Bottle Size 750 ml
Bottle Quantity 1
Country USA
Region California
Location Central Coast
Producer Sine Qua Non
Color Red
Wine Type Table

Product Reviews

Recently Viewed Product

Loading...