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  • 1996 Sine Qua Non - Against the Wall

1996 Sine Qua Non - Against the Wall

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA /
abv 14.5%
  • 94 WA
  • 91 IWC
  • Variety
    Syrah

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SKU: 59140-1996-750-3A
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 91

    Full deep ruby. Superripe, nuanced aromas of cassis, blackberry, raspberry, hickory smoke, smoked meat and milk chocolate; rather Hermitage-like. Creamy and seamless in the mouth, but firm acids and underlying minerality give it a sense of solidity. At once generous and firm; this has a very sophisticated texture for a California syrah. Flavors of red and black berries. Powerful yet restrained, and quite forward for a syrah from this producer.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 1999
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 94

    Sine Qua Non has produced some spectacular Syrahs, buying fruit from the best sources in Santa Barbara - the Alban, Stolpman, and Bien Nacido vineyards. The 1996 Against The Wall Syrah is cut from the same mold as the 1997. The color is opaque black/purple, and the nose offers a combination of cassis/blackberry jamminess intermixed with tar, pepper, and spice. Thick, massively full, yet wonderfully rich and expansive, with admirable purity and mouth-staining levels of glycerin and extract, this full-bodied, silky-smooth Syrah is deceptively easy to drink, but I suspect it will age effortlessly for 15-20 years.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Author: tiberite
  • Self | Rating: 98

    Amazing wine. Fragrant nose, with a sage perfume character to it. Opens with reserved dark berries, followed by mix of sage and anise, moderately long finish with a subtle spice to it. Very complex. Continued to evolve in the glass throughout the evening.
    Author: Mallon Matthew
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.

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

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 209 bottles owned
  • 96 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 97
    (Out of 96 collectors)