Sine Qua Non Syrah Capo dei Putti 2014

Sine Qua Non Syrah Capo dei Putti 2014

Harvest is looking over our shoulders, which is simultaneously exciting, obnoxious, a little nerve wrecking, inspiring, taunting and also a cause for us to remember to shift into overdrive. And it is a time for some SQN lingo. Story time from little old Oak View. It is relatively easy to keep things modestly interesting with vino, but it’s hard to be entertaining too…since I can’t show you my bi-weekly therapy exercise process. More reason for me – Manfred – to swing into the full vinous VERNACULAR. Since I am a forainuh – although I basically knew what it meant – I had to look up the formal definition of that word…vernacular. Just so I don’t screw up all too much. I learned that it stands for “using a language or dialect native to a region or country rather than a literary, cultured, or foreign language.” Its synonyms are language, dialect, regional language, regionalisms, patois and parlance. I read that and thought two things (well maybe three, but I’ll start with two). 1: Sometimes the “experts” really do know what they are talking about and 2: oh boy Manfred, right again. As a wine fanatic or wine connoisseur, as I am sure you are, you clearly know this – but when grape nuts want to communicate about wine a whole strange, mysterious language gets employed. This parlance quickly becomes rather natural to those vinously afflicted, but it seems quite bizarre… downright weird really… to those not obsessed. Naturally one cannot describe a particular wine by saying it tastes “grapey” or “juicy” or “thirst quenching” because that doesn’t differentiate things enough, doesn’t sound fancy and in-the-know and would just come off as pedestrian and not sufficiently sophisticated. So, we end up flashing phrases like “gorgeous salinity, terroir driven, amazing freshness” (freshness has to be pronounced as fresssshhhness though). Words like “length, angular, complexity, elegance, harmony” … to toss out just a handful… are thrown around reflexively. More adjectives are flung about than one could ever imagine possible when talking about wine. Some are mind-blowingly imaginative and startlingly accurate. Others seem knee meltingly artificial, self-important and unhelpful, counter productive and just plain off the wall. I mean who really knows what ancient sandalwood smells like? That type of mumbo jumbo I find off putting and it doesn’t draw any newcomers into the fantastic, delicious, life enhancing world of wine. But vineyards and barrels and wine making – a little inebriation too I suppose – and musings about it all have been around for a long, long time and can be amusing, educational and stimulating. Let’s just try and keep it real and somewhat authentic. Elaine and I were drawn to this great grape endeavor because we obviously loved to drink good wine, but also because it is a delightfully natural, nature driven, artisanal and organic activity, but also one that really hasn’t changed all that much in probably hundreds of years. Maybe even longer. Yes, we have a forklift now and air conditioning units and heating/cooling jackets on fermentation tanks, but the basic process is one very much ancient and with surprisingly few modernist changes. The work in the vineyards… all year long… is frankly back breaking. But it is also in a beautiful environment. One that beats some dumb office cubicle any minute of the day. A barrel (God knows we love our barrels) in the end is a mighty testing vessel to work with. At times it almost seems unreal that in an advanced time – beyond the year 2000 – we still work with such an oaf. It is heavy, has a truly unwieldy, hard to maneuver shape, is made from difficult to clean oak, has this goofy little bunghole on the top, has poor visibility and is all around clumsy and often times harsh and actually irritating. But when it works – when it makes the right frame for a particular wine – well, there’s nothing that can beat it. So, we continue to use it, despite the fact that there are moments when it feels like working with a buggy whip. All of grape growing and wine making are more or less like that. There are many tactics and rules and suggestions and insights and science and artistry and books and passed-down knowledge and information and wisdom from years or even decades of hard and thoughtful work. But Mother Nature continues to play her heavy hand and when everything is said and done the entire process – no matter how sneaky or clever we might think we have become – remains a secret to a meaningful extent. A Rätsel if you will, that shall be decoded, evaluated, at least sort-of understood and reacted to. Every season… and I mean every single one, is new and cryptic and needs to be decoded, deciphered and turned into a “language” that is not as far-fetched as a cipher on steroids, yet can be comprehended enough to make useful, advantageous decisions toward the goal of eventually engaging in an alchemy to fashion a darn nearly irresistible elixir…or two. Sometimes “the Man” - or call him/her Mother Nature - is of great help in that regard; other times they throw us a major curve ball and probably smile and watch us struggle while we are messing with the puzzle. In my scribbles from earlier this year I wrote “the last few years we have definitely been blessed by THE MAN… or whoever it is that controls the weather.” In general, I continue to agree with that mindset, but as if to set a goomba like me straight we sure as heck were teased (a particularly mild-mannered word given the situation). In early July of this year we were hit with a several day super heat wave – at least at the Cumulus vineyard – like I have never seen before. It lasted even into the night and there were also 25 mph winds. It made one think that God was dry blowing his hair. It singed the canopy of many vines and made us lose fruit in the neighborhood of 80%. Of course, we don’t fully know yet, but it was a never-before-seen circumstance for this area and made for some tear-jerking weeks. Luckily our other Estate vineyards – 11 Confessions, The Third Twin and Molly Aïda – did not get heat hammered. Our yields are always rather low… by just about anyone’s standards. For example, last year the highest yields per vine (the only meaningful yield measurement) was 1.72 lbs. Not exactly frivolous I’d say. But robbing us of months and months of meticulous work in a few days of nutty baking is tough even for an overgrown man like M. But we’ll live and some day we’ll probably even make jokes about it all. On the flip side, we had the 2016 vintage. 2015, 2014, 2013 too… that’s for sure, but 2016 had such even, unextreme, perfectly well-mannered conditions that we managed to concoct wines of uncanny seductiveness. It is virtually obscene to just trade the marvels listed below for cold, hard cash. I suppose it implies something… not too noble… about us, but at times you have to show what you’re made of, even with a few warts. Seemingly without heart we’re offering up our 2016 Syrah called Rätsel 16 and our 2016 Grenache D I R T VERNACULAR. No, none of our wines are exactly cheap, but if… or when… you taste these two supermodels, you’ll think they are a giveaway. Both the great Antonio Galloni and the fantastic Jeb Dunnuck have tasted these. Reviews are not out yet, but I am sure they’ll be forthcoming very soon. Naturally they don’t fully clue us into their feelings when they taste, but I am pretty sure I heard a couple of wows from Antonio and Jeb is still receiving CPR laying on our office floor. William Kelley, our new man from The Wine Advocate is still to come and taste. That’ll be very soon. Now permit me give you all the important stats, the details and percentages and facts… all the things that make you feel like you are a better taster when you give the juice a joyride around your palate. The 2016 Grenache D I R T VERNACULAR is called so because it screams and teases and hints and whispers and bloviates about earth and all that it brings us. It is a vernacular you want to get familiar with, believe me. It is a ménage à quatre, made up of these four seducers: 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvedre (no kidding, there really is a .5 portion to it), 7% Touriga Nacional and 3.5% Petite Sirah. A few things from the get go… right here, right now… because I can almost hear you say “hey, Touriga Nacional and Petite Sirah aren’t even Rhone varieties!” If you are pedantic like that then you are officially, technically, by law (I guess) correct, but I think someone – maybe God himself or more likely some bored, French bureaucrat – made a mistake as these two should be Rhone enhancers. We have taken it upon ourselves to fix that mistake now. It might take a while, but we’ll get there. On 43% of the fruit we used whole clusters (meaning the stems were also included) to ferment with and we raised this delightfully tanned beauty in 38% new French oak, a substantial portion of which were Demi-Muids (these are larger, 600 – 650 liter vats), 53% used barrels and 9% concrete. The wine was kept in these training cells for +/- 23 months… until it learned to behave. We never fined or filtered it, but rather left it to its own, natural devices. And, if I may say so myself, that was a wise move. This mama is clearly no slouch (if one can honestly understand the vernacular of DIRT or properly interpret nature’s signals, then one would have to conclude that California does not want us to fashion whimps). It is a gutsy, spirited, well-toned lady in full glory. I don’t have many highfalutin tasting notes because that’s just not my game. But a few scratched down lines read “VERY dark for Grenache and just beautiful (literally) all around. Very juicy and supple and succulent and velvety creamy, but with tannins – but the very ripe ones. Long and persistent and giving and truly memorable.” The 2016 Syrah Rätsel 16 got its name in light of all the things we discussed before. This cuvee might seem even more licentious than its loose sister above. It is a taste orgy of 81% Syrah, 7% Mourvedre, 5% Petite Sirah, 2.5% Grenache and a whopping 4.5% Viognier for lift and high tones. Here we used an unusually high (for Syrah and for us) 47% whole clusters during the fermentation. This fruit – these grapes – were so developed, including the stems and the seeds and of course the skins, that the notion of including more whole clusters appeared not like a hinted poem, but rather like an L.A. billboard. And we used 47% new French oak. All barriques with the exception of just a few hogs (barriques are 228 liter barrels; hogs are 300 liter). Syrah always shows a muscular, dark, brooding stature. This is certainly no exception. The wine is like the most handsome prize fighter you’ve ever seen. If George Clooney were more muscle bound, more promiscuous, more committed and maybe a little snazzier, we might have named this wine after him. But alas he’s not. So Rätsel 16 it is instead. I really don’t know quite how to describe this treat in an adult manner, so all I can say is that it is like a velvet or silk cloud roaming around your cavity, stroking your taste buds, your nose, your gray cells and your ego. It stays with you seemingly forever. If you don’t latch on to this devil, then there is no help. Sore shoulder or not, nerve-repairing tingle in the hand or not, it is SQN update time again, so M…get on with it. There are always news and updates, that’s for sure, but it is not that easy ~ especially for an odd, Lederhosen-raised goomba like me…Manfred ~ to keep things lively and entertaining and maybe at least remotely interesting. There are now some 8,700 wineries in the USA and most of them want your interest and your palate. So we have to compete with every “Breaking Wind Ridge” outfit to not tell you the same old story about how perfect the latest vintage was (vintage of the century?; grape growing of the millennium?) etc. etc. and also saddle up against the none-too-few Chateau something or other too. One of my all-time favorite fellows, the late Helmut Qualtinger (an Austrian actor, singer, philosopher of sorts) said “” Well, my dear wine loving friend, you are not going to get that lucky today. But you are fortunate nonetheless because you are getting an offer for three utterly fantastic wines and some ditties of sorts and a few insights into SQN with it. The other day ~ a great, happy day ~ we had a little group of winners visit us. Our friend Philippe Cambie (the oenological master mind from Chateauneuf-du-Pape) and with him another master of his craft, the legendary Justin Smith from Saxum. To round out the picture we were also treated to Isabel Gassier (daughter of the delightful Michel Gassier ~ no slouch either) and the surely soon to be monumental (if he is not already) Sasha Verhage. We had great fun tasting and chatting and exploring vinous subjects till the cows came home. I think everyone had as good a time as E and I did. Everyone sent a lovely note and that was generous. The one from Justin had a paragraph that really grabbed my heart and I am lowlife enough that I will share it here (Justin, if you read this...I am sorry, I generally don’t “publish” other’s letters, but this is just too good – that’s what you get for venturing to Oak View). Among other things he wrote to me ” Well dang me, that’s putting the finger right onto the marrow. Talk about inspirational fuel. We all work…and deal with the kids…and keep the house upright…and try what we can to become better monkeys, but every now and then an insightful reminder from someone astute helps to keep us on track. So thanks Justin, the thoughts are very much appreciated and your statement captured the long standing philosophy of SQN just perfectly. Now here is the scoop on the wines. Yes, it once again will (have to) be a touch, uhmmm, unorthodox. Meanies might even say weird. So be it. I’ll start with the 201 6 WHITE WINE. It is named DEUX GRENOU I LLES. Naturally I can’t see you, but amazingly I CAN hear you say “what in the world – why and what does it mean?” Just so you know, Amber and Stacy, the two sensational and typically delightful ladies in our office always berate me with “for cryin’ out loud, do you have to use French or Italian or God Almighty…LATIN names?” In many ways…right they are and I have sworn to myself countless times that I would stick with English because, French especially, sounds like such a put-on, but all I can say is…I am just a hopeless nincompoop at times, plus André Gide said “” And I don’t think I am downright “hated.” I just get bewildered looks at times. So let me stab at this thing. You see I grew up poor. Really quite poor. Not middle class or without a yacht or even lower middle class or whatever goofy other lowly category there is to be named. We were poor. Straight up and simple. Now I wasn’t miserable or even unhappy. We just didn’t have a pot to…cough cough…tinkle in. But most of my friends were on similar rafts. My parents were kind to me, tried to teach me to be self-reliant, honest, not too much of a whiner (they did fail there) and optimistic. And they fed me and for a long time I thought my Mom was the best cook in the world. But no Montrachet at our table…ever…and just no decadence with anything or anywhere. I never, ever even had my own room. A bicycle would be bought used and probably resold later. We had a little plastic tray and every once in a great while one might get a coke, but you had to put the 2 Schillings into the tray so that later on it could be replaced. When you grow up like that you adjust to the way things are and you sort of develop your own outlook on the world. Your own philosophy. Many fancy-butt things seem so far off the map that the thought of them is downright silly. When I was of age (18 it was) I was longing for a car. Naturally. The car that was really appealing ~ because it was cheap and a sort of hippie chic (I would have never uttered that word if my life depended on it) was a Citroën 2CV. 2CV stood for “deux chevaux-vapeur (“two steam horses” or “two tax horsepower”). It had an easily serviced air-cooled engine with originally not too racy 9 hp; low fuel consumption and an extremely long-travel suspension. It was conceived by a Citroën VP to help motorise the large number of farmers still using horses and carts. It was hugely popular, albeit the weirdest looking contraption you have ever seen. 3.8 million were produced between 1948 and 1988 and it clearly had the ultimate French flavor. You can still see them cruising around in France now. I could go on and on, but don’t get a twist in your knickers, I won’t. I recently stumbled onto this old picture of one with a French lady and decided to use it for the label of our 2016 White. That bugger feels very French to me. Can’t really explain why, but it just does. And I re-named it to Deux Grenouilles instead. That means “Two Frogs”. Didn’t want Citroën folks to get all worked up. I have learned that someone always gets ticked at something. DEUX GRENOUILLES is fabulous cuvee of 36 Roussanne, 29 Chardonnay, 23 Viognier, 9 Petite Manseng and a whopping 3 Muscat (more on how we got that Muscat below). I will give you descriptors here, albeit still a little cursory, especially relative to the complicated nature of this frog. It is sophisticated and even elegant for a substantial wine. The nose is floral with some anise and faint mint. I detect even some hay, muskmelon and as I said in my scribbles “fall sunshine.” The perfumey Muscat keeps it fun and playful and lively and fresh and youthful. The mouth is solidly woven. There is muscle, but not the grotesque kind, but rather the beautifully shaped and solid and broad envy producer. There is also some minerality and some chalk. The fresh acidity keeps things nicely balanced and the wine spunky. But generally it is creamy and lush and never becomes clumsy or awkward. A lovely treat. The two reds we are offering are both from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard. We used to just call these extra special nuggets ESTATE wines, but that doesn’t make much sense anymore because all of our fruit is estate grown now, except for the Chardonnay. And even that we now have at 11-Confessions and so very soon we will be all ESTATE. One more housekeeping thing ~ the labels for the two wines below have not been approved yet by the “eye police.” I don’t foresee problems, but one never knows, they could make me change them for some reason. The 2014 Eleven Confessions Grenache is TESTA DEI CHERUBINI. That means “Head of the Cherubs.” The wine is a love potion made up of 80% Grenache, 15.5% Syrah (yep, we are THAT precise), 4% Petite Sirah and 0.5% Viognier. Some 52% of the fruit was destemmed (all Grenache) and the rest was fermented as whole clusters. As is typical, we fermented in relatively small, open top vessels with manual punch downs and pump overs. After pressing, the wine was raised for 38½ months in 25% new and 75% used oak. Only 45% were barriques, the rest larger formats. The wine was not fined or filtered and is as natural a wine as you are likely to find. This Cherub is a cupid for sure…and a big juicy one at that. The last few years we have definitely been blessed by THE MAN…or whoever it is to control the weather, but I am particularly fond of the 2014s. They are so giving and open and inviting. The 2014 Eleven Confessions SYRAH is to be CAPO DEI PUTTI. The Boss of the Putti is what that translates to. Now, you can get yourself pretty busy trying to figure out the difference between Cherubs and Putti and since you are probably just sitting there sniffing your Zalto, I’ll say go ahead….get smart. E and I have had little putti sit all over our house for a long time and so they have a certain private charm to us. This voluptuous Amorino is an aphrodisiac if there ever was one. You are welcome. It is a love union of 90% Syrah, 3.2% Petite Sirah (yep, we are sticklers), 2% Grenache and a co-fermented 4.8%Viognier for extra seduction. Here 57% of the fruit was robbed of the rachis and 43% was turned to alcohol whole cluster. This Adonis got his charm training for 39 months (we are not skimping) in 94% new French oak barrels and 6% in used. Only barriques were employed. Like its Grenache sister, this also did not have to endure fining or filtration. This just plays with you and your senses. Frankly I don’t have enough guts to give you a lot of verbosity and ramble on about Afghan sandalwood, perfect salinity (very popular right now), Himalayan Blue Poppies or whatever buzzwords might pop into my noggin in a lame-patootie effort to make a sale. I will say that these wines, both of them, are clearly fruit driven, but at the same time have so many layers and nuances and crevices and surprises that they make you almost tired when drinking because your mind is constantly being challenged. Decanting is a great idea. They open up methodically then, but keep on building and changing and tantalizing. They are certainly not meek, but they are also not crass or boorish. They fill every square millimeter of your tasting cave….and never let go. Do yourself a giant favor and don’t miss them. A few other things ♠Amazingly we made it through these darn fires without any losses. I will say it is amiracle of sorts as we were completely circled in by fire – literally – yet somehow nothing onour property burned. It was wild and very scary, but somehow we were spared. Thank God. ♠The Muscat I referenced above is another story of fortune. As you might know we havelong been friends with the dessert wine geniuses from Austria…Kracher. One day youngGerhard was here. I told him I would love to find good clones of it. It would have been greatto get it from him, but that is not legal and thus not possible. But the man knows everyoneand their uncle, even in the U.S. viticulture world and by golly he connected us witharomatic Gelber Muskateller and Muscat Ottonel…all above board. They now grace ourwhites and reds too. Real friends are a delicious gift. Luck is sometimes better than skill. ♠For more than 16 years now we have worked with Mark Rantz as our Vineyard Manager.I want to recognize him here for a moment because he is a very special person. He deeplyand passionately cares about what he does and he downright manicures these vineyardblocks. He happily laughing calls them “his office.” He is smart and thoughtful and intuitive,but doesn’t mind jumping on the tractor either. Just the kind of man I adore. He always (andI mean ALWAYS) has a positive attitude and is patient when teaching. Thank you Mark, you rock! ♠Among a number of “stock coopers” we are now working with an Austrian, sort of “cultcooper” called Stockinger. They make truly stunning, nuanced, gentle barrels and juststarted coming into the U.S.A. What is also amazing – to me at least – is that they are madein Waidhofen an der Ybbs, some 30 miles from where I grew up. It blows my mind. With that, allow us to once again send a heartwarming THANK YOU. Because of you and your good taste, good mind, loyal attitude and sensational spirit we get to do what we love. Our gratitude is truly beyond measure. It is very difficult to express our warmth and appreciation. All we can DO is to work uncompromisingly and have you see it in the wines. Many, many thanks, Elaine & Manfred Krankl  

500,00 € *
Inhalt: 0.75 Liter (666,67 € * / 1 Liter)

inkl. MwSt. zzgl. Versandkosten

Sofort versandfertig, Lieferzeit ca. 3-4 Werktage

  • A101737139146610
Harvest is looking over our shoulders, which is simultaneously exciting, obnoxious, a little... mehr
Produktinformationen "Sine Qua Non Syrah Capo dei Putti 2014"

Harvest is looking over our shoulders, which is simultaneously exciting, obnoxious, a little nerve wrecking, inspiring, taunting and also a cause for us to remember to shift into overdrive. And it is a time for some SQN lingo. Story time from little old Oak View. It is relatively easy to keep things modestly interesting with vino, but it’s hard to be entertaining too…since I can’t show you my bi-weekly therapy exercise process. More reason for me – Manfred – to swing into the full vinous VERNACULAR. Since I am a forainuh – although I basically knew what it meant – I had to look up the formal definition of that word…vernacular. Just so I don’t screw up all too much. I learned that it stands for “using a language or dialect native to a region or country rather than a literary, cultured, or foreign language.” Its synonyms are language, dialect, regional language, regionalisms, patois and parlance. I read that and thought two things (well maybe three, but I’ll start with two). 1: Sometimes the “experts” really do know what they are talking about and 2: oh boy Manfred, right again.

As a wine fanatic or wine connoisseur, as I am sure you are, you clearly know this – but when grape nuts want to communicate about wine a whole strange, mysterious language gets employed. This parlance quickly becomes rather natural to those vinously afflicted, but it seems quite bizarre… downright weird really… to those not obsessed. Naturally one cannot describe a particular wine by saying it tastes “grapey” or “juicy” or “thirst quenching” because that doesn’t differentiate things enough, doesn’t sound fancy and in-the-know and would just come off as pedestrian and not sufficiently sophisticated. So, we end up flashing phrases like “gorgeous salinity, terroir driven, amazing freshness” (freshness has to be pronounced as fresssshhhness though). Words like “length, angular, complexity, elegance, harmony” … to toss out just a handful… are thrown around reflexively. More adjectives are flung about than one could ever imagine possible when talking about wine. Some are mind-blowingly imaginative and startlingly accurate. Others seem knee meltingly artificial, self-important and unhelpful, counter productive and just plain off the wall. I mean who really knows what ancient sandalwood smells like? That type of mumbo jumbo I find off putting and it doesn’t draw any newcomers into the fantastic, delicious, life enhancing world of wine.

But vineyards and barrels and wine making – a little inebriation too I suppose – and musings about it all have been around for a long, long time and can be amusing, educational and stimulating. Let’s just try and keep it real and somewhat authentic.

Elaine and I were drawn to this great grape endeavor because we obviously loved to drink good wine, but also because it is a delightfully natural, nature driven, artisanal and organic activity, but also one that really hasn’t changed all that much in probably hundreds of years. Maybe even longer. Yes, we have a forklift now and air conditioning units and heating/cooling jackets on fermentation tanks, but the basic process is one very much ancient and with surprisingly few modernist changes. The work in the vineyards… all year long… is frankly back breaking. But it is also in a beautiful environment. One that beats some dumb office cubicle any minute of the day. A barrel (God knows we love our barrels) in the end is a mighty testing vessel to work with. At times it almost seems unreal that in an advanced time – beyond the year 2000 – we still work with such an oaf. It is heavy, has a truly unwieldy, hard to maneuver shape, is made from difficult to clean oak, has this goofy little bunghole on the top, has poor visibility and is all around clumsy and often times harsh and actually irritating. But when it works – when it makes the right frame for a particular wine – well, there’s nothing that can beat it. So, we continue to use it, despite the fact that there are moments when it feels like working with a buggy whip.

All of grape growing and wine making are more or less like that. There are many tactics and rules and suggestions and insights and science and artistry and books and passed-down knowledge and information and wisdom from years or even decades of hard and thoughtful work. But Mother Nature continues to play her heavy hand and when everything is said and done the entire process – no matter how sneaky or clever we might think we have become – remains a secret to a meaningful extent. A Rätsel if you will, that shall be decoded, evaluated, at least sort-of understood and reacted to. Every season… and I mean every single one, is new and cryptic and needs to be decoded, deciphered and turned into a “language” that is not as far-fetched as a cipher on steroids, yet can be comprehended enough to make useful, advantageous decisions toward the goal of eventually engaging in an alchemy to fashion a darn nearly irresistible elixir…or two. Sometimes “the Man” - or call him/her Mother Nature - is of great help in that regard; other times they throw us a major curve ball and probably smile and watch us struggle while we are messing with the puzzle.

In my scribbles from earlier this year I wrote “the last few years we have definitely been blessed by THE MAN… or whoever it is that controls the weather.” In general, I continue to agree with that mindset, but as if to set a goomba like me straight we sure as heck were teased (a particularly mild-mannered word given the situation). In early July of this year we were hit with a several day super heat wave – at least at the Cumulus vineyard – like I have never seen before. It lasted even into the night and there were also 25 mph winds. It made one think that God was dry blowing his hair. It singed the canopy of many vines and made us lose fruit in the neighborhood of 80%. Of course, we don’t fully know yet, but it was a never-before-seen circumstance for this area and made for some tear-jerking weeks. Luckily our other Estate vineyards – 11 Confessions, The Third Twin and Molly Aïda – did not get heat hammered. Our yields are always rather low… by just about anyone’s standards. For example, last year the highest yields per vine (the only meaningful yield measurement) was 1.72 lbs. Not exactly frivolous I’d say. But robbing us of months and months of meticulous work in a few days of nutty baking is tough even for an overgrown man like M. But we’ll live and some day we’ll probably even make jokes about it all.

On the flip side, we had the 2016 vintage.

2015, 2014, 2013 too… that’s for sure, but 2016 had such even, unextreme, perfectly well-mannered conditions that we managed to concoct wines of uncanny seductiveness.

It is virtually obscene to just trade the marvels listed below for cold, hard cash. I suppose it implies something… not too noble… about us, but at times you have to show what you’re made of, even with a few warts.

Seemingly without heart we’re offering up our 2016 Syrah called Rätsel 16 and our 2016 Grenache D I R T VERNACULAR.

No, none of our wines are exactly cheap, but if… or when… you taste these two supermodels, you’ll think they are a giveaway.

Both the great Antonio Galloni and the fantastic Jeb Dunnuck have tasted these. Reviews are not out yet, but I am sure they’ll be forthcoming very soon. Naturally they don’t fully

clue us into their feelings when they taste, but I am pretty sure I heard a couple of wows from Antonio and Jeb is still receiving CPR laying on our office floor.

William Kelley, our new man from The Wine Advocate is still to come and taste. That’ll be very soon. Now permit me give you all the important stats, the details and percentages and facts… all the things that make you feel like you are a better taster when you give the juice a joyride around your palate.

The 2016 Grenache D I R T VERNACULAR is called so because it screams and teases and hints and whispers and bloviates about earth and all that it brings us. It is a vernacular you want to get familiar with, believe me.

It is a ménage à quatre, made up of these four seducers: 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvedre (no kidding, there really is a .5 portion to it), 7% Touriga Nacional and 3.5% Petite Sirah. A few things from the get go… right here, right now… because I can almost hear you say “hey, Touriga Nacional and Petite Sirah aren’t even Rhone varieties!” If you are pedantic like that then you are officially, technically, by law (I guess) correct, but I think someone – maybe God himself or more likely some bored, French bureaucrat – made a mistake as these two should be Rhone enhancers. We have taken it upon ourselves to fix that mistake now. It might take a while, but we’ll get there. On 43% of the fruit we used whole clusters (meaning the stems were also included) to ferment with and we raised this delightfully tanned beauty in 38% new French oak, a substantial portion of which were Demi-Muids (these are larger, 600 – 650 liter vats),

53% used barrels and 9% concrete. The wine was kept in these training cells for +/- 23 months… until it learned to behave. We never fined or filtered it, but rather left it to its own, natural devices. And, if I may say so myself, that was a wise move. This mama is clearly no slouch (if one can honestly understand the vernacular of DIRT or properly interpret nature’s signals, then one would have to conclude that California does not want us to fashion whimps). It is a gutsy, spirited, well-toned lady in full glory. I don’t have many highfalutin tasting notes because that’s just not my game. But a few scratched down lines read “VERY dark for Grenache and just beautiful (literally) all around. Very juicy and supple and succulent and velvety creamy, but with tannins – but the very ripe ones. Long and persistent and giving and truly memorable.”

The 2016 Syrah Rätsel 16 got its name in light of all the things we discussed before. This cuvee might seem even more licentious than its loose sister above. It is a taste orgy of 81% Syrah, 7% Mourvedre, 5% Petite Sirah, 2.5% Grenache and a whopping 4.5% Viognier for lift and high tones. Here we used an unusually high (for Syrah and for us) 47% whole clusters during the fermentation. This fruit – these grapes – were so developed, including the stems and the seeds and of course the skins, that the notion of including more whole clusters appeared not like a hinted poem, but rather like an L.A. billboard. And we used 47% new French oak. All barriques with the exception of just a few hogs (barriques are 228 liter barrels; hogs are 300 liter). Syrah always shows a muscular, dark, brooding stature. This is certainly no exception. The wine is like the most handsome prize fighter you’ve ever seen. If George Clooney were more muscle bound, more promiscuous, more committed and maybe a little snazzier, we might have named this wine after him. But alas he’s not. So Rätsel 16 it is instead. I really don’t know quite how to describe this treat in an adult manner, so all I can say is that it is like a velvet or silk cloud roaming around your cavity, stroking your taste buds, your nose, your gray cells and your ego. It stays with you seemingly forever. If you don’t latch on to this devil, then there is no help.

Sore shoulder or not, nerve-repairing tingle in the hand or not, it is SQN update time again, so M…get on with it. There are always news and updates, that’s for sure, but it is not that easy ~ especially for an odd, Lederhosen-raised goomba like me…Manfred ~ to keep things lively and entertaining and maybe at least remotely interesting. There are now some 8,700 wineries in the USA and most of them want your interest and your palate. So we have to compete with every “Breaking Wind Ridge” outfit to not tell you the same old story about how perfect the latest vintage was (vintage of the century?; grape growing of the millennium?) etc. etc. and also saddle up against the none-too-few Chateau something or other too.

One of my all-time favorite fellows, the late Helmut Qualtinger (an Austrian actor, singer, philosopher of sorts) said “”

Well, my dear wine loving friend, you are not going to get that lucky today. But you are fortunate nonetheless because you are getting an offer for three utterly fantastic wines and some ditties of sorts and a few insights into SQN with it.

The other day ~ a great, happy day ~ we had a little group of winners visit us. Our friend Philippe Cambie (the oenological master mind from Chateauneuf-du-Pape) and with him another master of his craft, the legendary Justin Smith from Saxum. To round out the picture we were also treated to Isabel Gassier (daughter of the delightful Michel Gassier ~ no slouch either) and the surely soon to be monumental (if he is not already) Sasha Verhage. We had great fun tasting and chatting and exploring vinous subjects till the cows came home.

I think everyone had as good a time as E and I did. Everyone sent a lovely note and that was generous. The one from Justin had a paragraph that really grabbed my heart and I am lowlife enough that I will share it here (Justin, if you read this...I am sorry, I generally don’t “publish” other’s letters, but this is just too good – that’s what you get for venturing to Oak View). Among other things he wrote to me ”

Well dang me, that’s putting the finger right onto the marrow. Talk about inspirational fuel. We all work…and deal with the kids…and keep the house upright…and try what we can to become better monkeys, but every now and then an insightful reminder from someone astute helps to keep us on track. So thanks Justin, the thoughts are very much appreciated and your statement captured the long standing philosophy of SQN just perfectly.

Now here is the scoop on the wines. Yes, it once again will (have to) be a touch, uhmmm, unorthodox. Meanies might even say weird.

So be it.

I’ll start with the 201 6 WHITE WINE. It is named DEUX GRENOU I LLES.

Naturally I can’t see you, but amazingly I CAN hear you say “what in the world – why and what does it mean?”

Just so you know, Amber and Stacy, the two sensational and typically delightful ladies in our office always berate me with “for cryin’ out loud, do you have to use French or Italian or God Almighty…LATIN names?” In many ways…right they are and I have sworn to myself countless times that I would stick with English because, French especially, sounds like such a put-on, but all I can say is…I am just a hopeless nincompoop at times, plus André Gide said “”

And I don’t think I am downright “hated.” I just get bewildered looks at times. So let me stab at this thing. You see I grew up poor. Really quite poor. Not middle class or without a yacht or even lower middle class or whatever goofy other lowly category there is to be named. We were poor. Straight up and simple. Now I wasn’t miserable or even unhappy. We just didn’t have a pot to…cough cough…tinkle in. But most of my friends were on similar rafts. My parents were kind to me, tried to teach me to be self-reliant, honest, not too much of a whiner (they did fail there) and optimistic. And they fed me and for a long time I thought my Mom was the best cook in the world. But no Montrachet at our table…ever…and just no decadence with anything or anywhere. I never, ever even had my own room. A bicycle would be bought used and probably resold later. We had a little plastic tray and every once in a great while one might get a coke, but you had to put the 2 Schillings into the tray so that later on it could be replaced. When you grow up like that you adjust to the way things are and you sort of develop your own outlook on the world. Your own philosophy. Many fancy-butt things seem so far off the map that the thought of them is downright silly. When I was of age (18 it was) I was longing for a car. Naturally. The car that was really appealing ~ because it was cheap and a sort of hippie chic (I would have never uttered that word if my life depended on it) was a Citroën 2CV. 2CV stood for “deux chevaux-vapeur (“two steam horses” or “two tax horsepower”). It had an easily serviced air-cooled engine with originally not too racy 9 hp; low fuel consumption and an extremely long-travel suspension. It was conceived by a Citroën VP to help motorise the large number of farmers still using horses and carts. It was hugely popular, albeit the weirdest looking contraption you have ever seen. 3.8 million were produced between 1948 and 1988 and it clearly had the ultimate French flavor. You can still see them cruising around in France now. I could go on and on, but don’t get a twist in your knickers, I won’t. I recently stumbled onto this old picture of one with a French lady and decided to use it for the label of our 2016 White. That bugger feels very French to me. Can’t really explain why, but it just does. And I re-named it to Deux Grenouilles instead. That means “Two Frogs”. Didn’t want Citroën folks to get all worked up. I have learned that someone always gets ticked at something.

DEUX GRENOUILLES is fabulous cuvee of 36 Roussanne, 29 Chardonnay, 23 Viognier, 9 Petite Manseng and a whopping 3 Muscat (more on how we got that Muscat below).

I will give you descriptors here, albeit still a little cursory, especially relative to the complicated nature of this frog.

It is sophisticated and even elegant for a substantial wine. The nose is floral with some anise and faint mint. I detect even some hay, muskmelon and as I said in my scribbles “fall sunshine.”

The perfumey Muscat keeps it fun and playful and lively and fresh and youthful. The mouth is solidly woven. There is muscle, but not the grotesque kind, but rather the beautifully shaped and solid and broad envy producer. There is also some minerality and some chalk. The fresh acidity keeps things nicely balanced and the wine spunky. But generally it is creamy and lush and never becomes clumsy or awkward. A lovely treat.

The two reds we are offering are both from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard. We used to just call these extra special nuggets ESTATE wines, but that doesn’t make much sense anymore because all of our fruit is estate grown now, except for the Chardonnay. And even that we now have at 11-Confessions and so very soon we will be all ESTATE.

One more housekeeping thing ~ the labels for the two wines below have not been approved yet by the “eye police.” I don’t foresee problems, but one never knows, they could make me change them for some reason.

The 2014 Eleven Confessions Grenache is TESTA DEI CHERUBINI. That means “Head of the Cherubs.”

The wine is a love potion made up of 80% Grenache, 15.5% Syrah (yep, we are THAT precise), 4% Petite Sirah and 0.5% Viognier.

Some 52% of the fruit was destemmed (all Grenache) and the rest was fermented as whole clusters. As is typical, we fermented in relatively small, open top vessels with manual punch downs and pump overs. After pressing, the wine was raised for 38½ months in 25% new and 75% used oak. Only 45% were barriques, the rest larger formats. The wine was not fined or filtered and is as natural a wine as you are likely to find. This Cherub is a cupid for sure…and a big juicy one at that.

The last few years we have definitely been blessed by THE MAN…or whoever it is to control the weather, but I am particularly fond of the 2014s. They are so giving and open and inviting.

The 2014 Eleven Confessions SYRAH is to be CAPO DEI PUTTI.

The Boss of the Putti is what that translates to. Now, you can get yourself pretty busy trying to figure out the difference between Cherubs and Putti and since you are probably just sitting there sniffing your Zalto, I’ll say go ahead….get smart. E and I have had little putti sit all over our house for a long time and so they have a certain private charm to us.

This voluptuous Amorino is an aphrodisiac if there ever was one. You are welcome.

It is a love union of 90% Syrah, 3.2% Petite Sirah (yep, we are sticklers), 2% Grenache and a co-fermented 4.8%Viognier for extra seduction. Here 57% of the fruit was robbed of the rachis and 43% was turned to alcohol whole cluster. This Adonis got his charm training for 39 months (we are not skimping) in 94% new French oak barrels and 6% in used. Only barriques were employed. Like its Grenache sister, this also did not have to endure fining or filtration. This just plays with you and your senses.

Frankly I don’t have enough guts to give you a lot of verbosity and ramble on about Afghan sandalwood, perfect salinity (very popular right now), Himalayan Blue Poppies or whatever

buzzwords might pop into my noggin in a lame-patootie effort to make a sale. I will say that these wines, both of them, are clearly fruit driven, but at the same time have so many layers and nuances and crevices and surprises that they make you almost tired when drinking because your mind is constantly being challenged.

Decanting is a great idea. They open up methodically then, but keep on building and changing and tantalizing. They are certainly not meek, but they are also not crass or boorish. They fill every square millimeter of your tasting cave….and never let go. Do yourself a giant favor and don’t miss them.

A few other things

♠Amazingly we made it through these darn fires without any losses. I will say it is amiracle of sorts as we were completely circled in by fire – literally – yet somehow nothing onour property burned. It was wild and very scary, but somehow we were spared. Thank God.

♠The Muscat I referenced above is another story of fortune. As you might know we havelong been friends with the dessert wine geniuses from Austria…Kracher. One day youngGerhard was here. I told him I would love to find good clones of it. It would have been greatto get it from him, but that is not legal and thus not possible. But the man knows everyoneand their uncle, even in the U.S. viticulture world and by golly he connected us witharomatic Gelber Muskateller and Muscat Ottonel…all above board. They now grace ourwhites and reds too. Real friends are a delicious gift. Luck is sometimes better than skill.

♠For more than 16 years now we have worked with Mark Rantz as our Vineyard Manager.I want to recognize him here for a moment because he is a very special person. He deeplyand passionately cares about what he does and he downright manicures these vineyardblocks. He happily laughing calls them “his office.” He is smart and thoughtful and intuitive,but doesn’t mind jumping on the tractor either. Just the kind of man I adore. He always (andI mean ALWAYS) has a positive attitude and is patient when teaching. Thank you Mark, you rock!

♠Among a number of “stock coopers” we are now working with an Austrian, sort of “cultcooper” called Stockinger. They make truly stunning, nuanced, gentle barrels and juststarted coming into the U.S.A. What is also amazing – to me at least – is that they are madein Waidhofen an der Ybbs, some 30 miles from where I grew up. It blows my mind.

With that, allow us to once again send a heartwarming THANK YOU. Because of you and your good taste, good mind, loyal attitude and sensational spirit we get to do what we love. Our gratitude is truly beyond measure. It is very difficult to express our warmth and appreciation. All we can DO is to work uncompromisingly and have you see it in the wines. Many, many thanks, Elaine & Manfred Krankl

 

Jahr: 2014
Land: USA
Region: Kalifornien
Art: Rot
Ausbau: trocken
Rebsorten: Syrah
Alkoholgehalt: 16% vol
Weiterführende Links zu "Sine Qua Non Syrah Capo dei Putti 2014"
Bewertungen lesen, schreiben und diskutieren... mehr
Kundenbewertungen für "Sine Qua Non Syrah Capo dei Putti 2014"
Bewertung schreiben
Bewertungen werden nach Überprüfung freigeschaltet.
Bitte geben Sie die Zeichenfolge in das nachfolgende Textfeld ein.

Die mit einem * markierten Felder sind Pflichtfelder.

"Sine Qua Non"

image of Sine Qua Non

Sine Qua Non ist das Weingut des 1980 nach Amerika ausgewanderten Österreichers Manfred Krankl und seiner Frau Elaine. Manfred Krankl war auch bis 2001 Besitzer einer Bäckerei, die die Westküste mit Brot versorgt, sowie Teilhaber von Campanile, das als eines der besten Gourmet-Adressen der amerikanischen Westküste gilt. Ich habe die Bäckerei sowie Campanile kennengelernt. Liebe zum Detail und rigoroses Streben nach Perfektion sind hier ständig zu spüren. Die gleiche Maxime verfolgt Manfred bei der Weinbereitung, der er sich seit dem Verkauf der Bäckerei ganz widmet. Die Weine werden jedes Jahr anders benannt und jedes Jahr mit einem von Manfred gestalteten Etikett verziert. Text: Martin Apell.

 

Name und Adresse des Herstellers/Abfüllers: Sine Qua Non Winery - 1750 N. Ventura Avenue #5 - Ventura CA 93001 - USA

Name und Adresse des Importeurs: Apell Weine - Martin Apell - Ahnatalstraße 114 A - 34128 Kassel - Deutschland

Weitere Artikel von Sine Qua Non
Verite Le Desir 2012 Verite Le Desir 2012
455,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (606,67 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Horsepower Vineyards The Tribe Vineyard Syrah 2012 Horsepower Vineyards The Tribe Vineyard Syrah 2012
275,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (366,67 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Harlan Estate Proprietary Red 2004 Harlan Estate Proprietary Red 2004
898,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (1.197,33 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Sine Qua Non Dirt Vernacular Grenache 2016 Sine Qua Non Dirt Vernacular Grenache 2016
299,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (398,67 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Sine Qua Non Rätsel 16 Syrah 2016 Sine Qua Non Rätsel 16 Syrah 2016
299,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (398,67 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Sine Qua Non Grenache Testa dei Cherubini 2014 Sine Qua Non Grenache Testa dei Cherubini 2014
500,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (666,67 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Sine Qua Non Jusqu’à l’os Grenache 2013 Sine Qua Non Jusqu’à l’os Grenache 2013
625,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (833,33 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Sine Qua Non Dirt Vernacular Grenache 2016 Sine Qua Non Dirt Vernacular Grenache 2016
299,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (398,67 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Sine Qua Non Rätsel 16 Syrah 2016 Sine Qua Non Rätsel 16 Syrah 2016
299,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (398,67 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Sine Qua Non Grenache Testa dei Cherubini 2014 Sine Qua Non Grenache Testa dei Cherubini 2014
500,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (666,67 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Sans Liege Long Way Home Syrah Sans Liege Long Way Home Syrah
26,95 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (35,93 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Verite La Joie 2012 Verite La Joie 2012
455,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (606,67 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Horsepower Vineyards The Tribe Vineyard Syrah 2013 Horsepower Vineyards The Tribe Vineyard Syrah 2013
275,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (366,67 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Harlan Estate Proprietary Red 2004 Harlan Estate Proprietary Red 2004
898,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (1.197,33 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Horsepower Vineyards The Tribe Vineyard Syrah 2012 Horsepower Vineyards The Tribe Vineyard Syrah 2012
275,00 € *
Inhalt 0.75 Liter (366,67 € * / 1 Liter)
Zum Produkt
Zuletzt angesehen