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2009 Sine Qua Non This is Not an Exit 11 Confessions Vineyard Estate Syrah

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RATINGS

97The Wine Advocate

...Slightly exotic, with notions of kirsch, flower oil, smoked meats, licorice and graphite, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness and depth, loads of fruit and a blockbuster finish...

95Wine Spectator

Offers exciting aromas of black licorice, ground coffee, anise, mocha and dark berry that are explosive on the palate. Deep, dense and persistent, with gripping tannins that give the flavors traction.

95Stephen Tanzer

Intensely perfumed scents of black raspberry, cherry preserves, potpourri & smoky minerals. Brisk, tightly wound dark berry & floral pastille ... intense minerality & show excellent clarity. Closes smooth, sweet & very long...

PRODUCER

Sine Qua Non

Founded in 1994 by Manfred and Elaine Krankl in Ventura, on California's Central Coast, the winery is the epitome of an artisanal, cult winery. The husband-and-wife team makes mostly Rhone-style reds and whites in very limited quantities using such grapes as Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Roussanne, and Viognier. The couple pays meticulous attention to their winemaking and uses little or no fining or filtration. Robert M. Parker Jr. has called Sine Qua Non "one of the world's most creative wineries" and one that "is turning out world-class wines of extraordinary complexity and individuality. The Krankl husband-and-wife team remains wholly dedicated to the pursuit of perfection." Sine Qua Non is also unusual in that the Krankls like to give wild, sometimes outlandish names to their wines, and they often change wine names with each vintage. They have christened their wines with such names as "The Hussy" and "In Flagrante," and the labels generally are as distinctive as the wines.

REGION

United States, California, South Coast, Santa Barbara County, Santa Rita Hills

Santa Rita Hills AVA in northern Santa Barbara County was granted appellation status in 2001. Located between the towns of Lompoc and Buellton, it has a total area of 30,720 acres with 2,700 vineyard acres. The area is considered a cool climate for vineyards, so vineyards are most often planted with the cool-weather grapes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The hills in the western part of this appellation are directly exposed to the Pacific Ocean, meaning that maritime winds and fog make the western edge of the Santa Rita Hills AVA particularly cool. The Sanford & Benedict Vineyard planted in 1971 was the first vineyard in the district and is still considered one of the best.

TYPE

Red Wine, Syrah (Shiraz)

This grape is grown in milder climates and produces a medium-to full-bodied wine. It is also known as Shiraz, but should not be confused with Petit Sirah, which was developed by crossing Syrah with Peloursin.

WINEMAKER