2006 Sine Qua Non Raven Series Syrah - 750ml

2006 Sine Qua Non Raven Series Syrah - 750ml

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2006 Sine Qua Non Raven Series Syrah - 96 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 specialises 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 2006
Rating 96 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 96 RP - The 2006 Raven Series Syrah, a blend of 93% Syrah, 5% Grenache, and 2% Viognier that spends just under two years in French oak. Offering a dense purple color, gorgeous fruit, and a sweet perfume of graphite, blackberries, blueberries, charcoal, licorice, tar, and new oak, it is a dense, full-bodied, well-endowed, beautifully layered, pure Syrah that should drink well for 10-15 years. Passing through what looks like a junkyard (or the first or second level of hell) to get to the warehouse of both bodily and spiritual pleasures called Sine Qua Non, is a hoot and a howl, but well worth it if you can somehow wrangle an appointment with the reclusive proprietor, Manfred Krankl. Tasting here is one of the highlights of my year, and all my expectations were satisfied if not eclipsed by what Krankl has made in 2007 and 2006. Oh, and there is one utterly perfect late-released 2005. Yields in 2007 were exceptionally low, with the Syrah averaging 1.5 to 2 tons of fruit per acre, Grenache 1.3 tons per acre, and the white grapes 1.28 tons of fruit per acre. Put another way, Krankl's highest yields averaged a meager 1.05 to 1.55 pounds of fruit per vine. That in large part explains the compelling aromatics, texture, richness, and intensity of these wines. Add to that the compulsive viticultural work and fanatical attention to detail in the winery, and it's no wonder Sine Qua Non remains one of California's most remarkable reference points of world-class wines. The good news is that the first wine from the new home vineyard in Ventura County, the Cumulus Vineyard, has been produced. Moreover, the continued brilliance of the other estate vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills, 11 Confessions, is confirmed. Over the last few years I have not been able to taste through the Sine Qua Non wines without coming across one that merits a three-digit score. The final wines to be bottled under the Mr. K moniker include the 2006 The Nobleman and 2006 The Strawman. As some readers may know, this partnership between the famed Austrian, Alois Kracher, and Manfred Krankl has finally come to an end because of the tragic death of Alois Kracher, who fell victim to pancreatic cancer at age 49. The Mr. K. offerings have been remarkable wines that showcased the talents of both of these great winemakers. RP

Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator

Burghound

Burghound

Winery Details

Varietal Syrah
Vintage 2006
Rating 96 RP
Bottle Size 750 ml
Bottle Quantity 1
Country USA
Region California
Location Central Coast
Producer Sine Qua Non
Color Red
Wine Type Table

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