2003 Sine Qua Non - Mr K Chardonnay The Nobleman 375ml

USA - California/ White / Chardonnay
2003 Sine Qua Non - Mr K Chardonnay The Nobleman

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International Wine Cellar | 95-96

($85; for 375 ml.; from Alban Vineyard) Medium gold. Knockout nose offers pure botrytis aromas oforange oil, apricot, clove, marzipan, chocolate and mocha. Extraordinarily thick and honeyed but with bracing acids leavening the flavors of marzipan, coconut, brown sugar andorange rind. Higher-toned than the gewurztraminer, with a spirity suggestion of Gran Marnier. Krankl was about to bottle this. I have rarely tasted such thoroughly botrytized chardonnay. This was picked in three passes in late November. Check out these numbers: 321 grams per liter of sugar, 10.25 grams of acidity, and 10.1% alcohol.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 121

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Wine Advocate | 94

The 2003 Mr. K. The Nobleman, a 100% Chardonnay made from botrytised fruit, possesses 278 grams of residual sugar per liter and 9.9 grams of acid per liter. There are a whopping 537 cases of half bottles. While deep golden-hued and honeyed, with brilliant unctuosity, thickness, and richness, it takes third place when ranked against its two sweet siblings. Readers should think of it as a Chardonnay Trockenbeerenauslese. Vineyard sources are gradually changing at Sine Qua Non as a movement to 100% estate fruit from vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills and sites near the winery in Ventura County come into full production. However, at present some grapes emanate from other sources, particularly white grapes from the Alban Vineyard, and Grenache and Syrah from Alban, Alta Mesa, Bien Nacido, Shadow Canyon, and White Hawk vineyards. Yields were unbelievably small in 2003 (white varietals yielded .9 tons of fruit per acre, Pinot Noir 1.64 tons per acre, Grenache .32 tons per acre, and Syrah 1.20 tons per acre). In 2004, white varietal yields were 1.49 tons per acre, Pinot Noir 1.19 tons per acre, Grenache 1.04 tons per acre, and Syrah a whopping 1.48 tons per acre. Yields rose by 20-40% in 2005.

Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 166

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More Vintages and Sizes of Sine Qua Non - Mr K Chardonnay The Nobleman:

2006 (375ml)

About This Producer


Manfred Krankl, an Austrian immigrant and Los Angeles restaurateur turned winemaker, is a reclusive and maniacally hard-working proprietor. His back-alley Ventura winery, dubbed the "garage d'or," has been described as "a junkyard (or the first or second level of hell)" and compared to a set from the movie "Mad Max" by Robert Parker. A true believer in radical viticulture, Krankl has worked with excessively low yields and maintains his winery and vineyards with meticulous attention to detail.

Since the debut "Queen of Spades" in 1994, original artwork and increasingly creative wordplay has adorned the label of each SQN wine. The wine itself has become a benchmark for Rhone varieties not just in California, but in the world. With 100-point scores in double digits, Robert Parker raves, "...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..." For all collectors, and particularly those that love Rhone-styled wines, SQN truly is something indispensable.

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See other similar producers: Turley Wine Cellars, Amuse Bouche, Brewer-Clifton

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