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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

Sine Qua Non

61 notes Sort by: Vintage - Name - Rating

2013 Sine Qua Non Syrah ♂  (Central Coast) 97

Rich, luscious, opulent boatloads of fruit hit the spot. Delicate? Perhaps not. But pleasing to the palate, absolutely! The fruit is perfectly ripe, black, juicy and with smoke, licorice, jam, vanilla, and black cherries. Mouth-fill and teeth staining, but also not hot, over-done or out of proportion. This is drinking really well today.

3930 Views   Tasted
2013 Sine Qua Non Résisté  (Central Coast) 95

Already fun to drink, deep yellow in color, with a nose of white peach, flowers, honeysuckle, spice, lemon peel and candied grapefruit, with a touch of vanilla bean to round things out, the wine is rich, lush and concentrated, but not over the top. Lively, sweet, unctuous citrus fruits create the finish. The wine was made from a blend of 45% Roussanne, 26% Chardonnay, 14% Petite Manseng, 10% Viognier and 5% Marsanne and was aged in a combination of 46% new, French oak barrels, concrete egg shaped vats and used French oak barrels for 19 months before bottling.

3379 Views   Tasted
2013 Sine Qua Non Grenache ♀  (Central Coast) 97

The obvious deep, dark color lets you know this is a powerful, concentrated wine loaded with layers of sweet, dark red fruits, spice, licorice, black cherry liqueur, jam and vanilla. Rich, fat, polished, sweet juicy fruits line your palate in the lengthy finish. The wine was made from a blend that would be right at home in Chateauneuf du Pape using 78% Grenache, 19% Syrah and 3% Mourvedre.

4473 Views   Tasted
2013 Sine Qua Non Syrah ♂  (Central Coast) 97

Inky, dark in color, with layers of sweet, ripe, juicy, dense, opulent, black and blue fruits, smoke, licorice, vanilla and espresso notes. Silky lush, tannins that feel great, and a long, luscious, mouth filling finish are the hallmarks of this wine. The wine was made from a blend of Rhone and Portuguese grapes; 80% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah, 6% Mourvèdre, 3.5% Touriga National and 3.5% Viognier.

5900 Views   Tasted
2012 Sine Qua Non Syrah Stock  (Central Coast) 97

Big, ripe, full bodied, intense and loaded from start to finish with fat, thick, lush, black and blue fruits, oak, smoke, vanilla and licorice. This is pure power, but there is an elegance to its intensity that meshes perfectly with its volume and length.

4538 Views   Tasted

Dense, rich, fleshy, sweet, powerful, voluminous, and did I mention mouthfullingly intense? The wine is thick, fat and deeply concentrated, the textures are pure lushness, the fruit is perfectly ripe, sweet and mouth coating.

4798 Views   Tasted 98

Looking over the new book from Manfred Krankl inspired me to pop one of these bad boys. And I'm glad I did! Inky in color, as you would expect, the wine is concentrated, rich and intense, with a mouth filling, palate coating, yet luxurious, silky texture. Ripe, sweet and voluptuous, the licorice, espresso bean, black cherry, jam and smoke fueled sensations hit the spot.

4221 Views   Tasted 97
2012 Sine Qua Non Chardonnay Pearl Clutcher  (Central Coast) 98

What a thrill to taste this beauty! The nose delivers honey, fresh citrus rind and floral characteristics with a hint of vanilla. Intensely concentrated, yet perfectly balanced. Unctuous, with that unique oily texture, the wine is fresh, vibrant and packed with layers of sweet, perfectly ripe citrus fruits and the right amount of lift. There is no sensation of heat in the 15.3% lingering finish.

3582 Views   Tasted
2012 Sine Qua Non Grenache Stein  (Central Coast) 96

Inky in color, with luscious, opulent, rich, fat, dense textures, waves, or is that layers of sweet, ripe, black and blue fruits? This is accompanied by a whiff of toasty oak, licorice, flowers, and just a hint of dark chocolate and jam in the finish. Yes, the wine is quite ripe and 15.7%, but there is such a wealth of fruit, unless you're into wine by the numbers, you never notice it. The wine was made from a blend of 76% Grenache, 16% Syrah and 8% Mourvedre.

3119 Views   Tasted
2012 Sine Qua Non In the Abstract  (Central Coast) 94

Rich, concentrated and opulently textured, the grapes are so ripe, you get a sensation of sweetness, but this is from the perfectly ripe fruits, and not from fruit sugars. The character combines white peaches, citrus, hints of honeydew melon, green apple and pear, with just a hint of vanilla bean. This interesting blend combines the best of the northern Rhone, Southern Rhone and California grapes with its interesting blend of 37% Chardonnay, 31% Roussanne, 16% Petite Manseng and 16% Viognier.

2534 Views   Tasted
2011 Sine Qua Non Syrah Dark Blossom  (Central Coast) 97

Young and tight at the moment, time, or a few hours of air is going to kick this wine into high gear. Clearly the abundance of fruit is high class, the wine is dense, concentrated and powerful, but in balance. The wine was produced from a blend 84% Syrah, 8% Grenache, 4% Petite Sirah, 2% Roussanne and 2% Petite Manseng.

4561 Views   Tasted

Inky, dark with purple accents in color, the wine is intense, rich, concentrated and showing a beautiful purity of sweet, velvet textured fruit. The wine leaves an impression on your palate that stays put for at least 40 seconds or more. Another great wine from Manfred Krankl!

4948 Views   Tasted 96
2011 Sine Qua Non Grenache Dark Blossom  (Central Coast) 95

Liquified black cherries, licorice, spice, espresso bean and chocoalte covered plum notes lead you down the path to a fat, juicy mouthful of pleasure. This is no shy sister and made a perfect match for rare, grilled burgers. The wine was produced from a blend of 75% Grenache, 12.5% Syrah, 11.5% Mourvedre and 1% Roussanne.

3535 Views   Tasted
2010 Sine Qua Non Syrah Stockholm Syndrome Eleven Confessions Vineyard  (Sta. Rita Hills) 100

Inky black with purple in color, the wine is equally as rich in fruit, flavor and concentration. Pure, polished velvet in texture, there is so much ripe, juicy, sweet, black and blue fruit, espresso, chocolate, licorice and jam, you can almost eat it. What makes this all work is, everything is in balance. The wine was made from a blend of 96% Syrah, 3% Roussanne and 1% Viognier.

6145 Views   Tasted
2010 Sine Qua Non Syrah Five Shooter  (Central Coast) 98

Inky in color, with layer after layer of fat, ripe, lush, luscious, sweet, dark berries, jam, earth, licorice and fresh ground esperesso beans. This is no shy sister of a wine. It's a big, bold, bad ass bottle of Syrah that is about as hedonistic as it gets.

4346 Views   Tasted
2010 Sine Qua Non Grenache Five Shooter  (Central Coast) 96

Displaying a serious depth of color, the wine pops with the perfect mix of ripe, very, and over ripe dark and red fruits, spice, pepper, blueberry, licorice, coffee, earth, jam, peach and black cherry notes. Rich, deep, round and lush, the finish holds your attention and focus. While mostly Grenache, the blend consists of 75% Grenache, 16% Syrah, 2.5 % Mourvedre, 4.5% Roussanne and 2% Viognier.

3537 Views   Tasted
2010 Sine Qua Non Grenache Stockholm Syndrome Eleven Confessions Vineyard  (Sta. Rita Hills) 99

This wine is intense, massive, rich and powerful. The color of pitch black ink with purple accents, the nose is on the oaky side, but the fruit has a beautiful sense of purity that really stains your palate. Sweet, ripe and juicy, the wine is as seamless as it is powerful. The finish must last close to 60 seconds. This is not for the timid taster.

3654 Views   Tasted
2009 Sine Qua Non Syrah This is Not An Exit Eleven Confessions Vineyard  (Sta. Rita Hills) 96

Lacking the concentration found in the best vintages, the wine exploded with a coffee bean, chocolate, ripe boysenberry, black cherry liqueur and mocha perfume. Voluptuous, rich and forward, the texture felt like deep rich silk, finishing with dark chocolate, spice and boysenberry. Elegance and power were perfectly combined, making this easy for the two of us to finish the bottle with a couple of rare, grilled steaks.

2577 Views   Tasted
2009 Sine Qua Non On The Lam  (Santa Barbara County) 92

From a unique blend of 48% Roussanne, 34% Chardonnay and 18% Viognier, the wine offers scents of smoke, flowers, white peach and stone. Medium bodied, soft in texture and already showing well, the wine finishes with sweet peaches and honey.

5478 Views   Tasted
2009 Sine Qua Non Grenache Upside Down  (Central Coast) 94

With a blast of fresh brewed espresso, licorice, blackberry, blueberry, fudge, cherries and jam, the wine is sweet, plush, voluptuous and showy. If you like your wines on the young side, and I often do, especially when it comes to fruit forward styles of wine, this blend of 84% Grenache, 11% Syrah and 5 % Mourvedre is drinking great today.

3425 Views   Tasted

Licorice, black cherry, earth, spice, vanilla and smoke scents open to a rich, soft, polished, full bodied, plush wine that can be enjoyed today. Produced from a blend of 84% Grenache, 11% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre, drink this now or age it for a few years.

3296 Views   Tasted 94
2009 Sine Qua Non Syrah The Thrill of...  (Central Coast) 96

Inky purple ruby colored with tears that stain the glass. Blackberry, blueberry, smoke, chocolate malt, black cherry smoke aromas get you going. Massive, concentrated, powerful and rich, but lacking the density of the best vintages, this thick, plush, California Syrah wine ends with a big, juicy, sweet mouthful of smoky blueberry, coffee bean, iron and black cherry.

5232 Views   Tasted
2008 Sine Qua Non Kolibri  (Santa Barbara County) 94

With a deep gold hue, the honeysuckle, floral, peach, vanilla and petrol nose opens to a full bodied, robust, sweet, spicy, cantaloupe and petrol flavored wine. This is a blend of 69% Roussanne and 31% Viognier. This wine is not for everyone, but if you like a full throttle style of white Rhone, it could be up your alley.

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2008 Sine Qua Non Grenache The Duel  (Central Coast) 98

There is so much going on with this wine, it's stunning in every way. The luxurious texture to the massive wall of ripe, sweet, delicious, pure fruit is impossible to miss. The finish goes on and on. The wine really delivers hedonism in every sip. This is the perfect wine for pleasure seekers.

2629 Views   Tasted
2008 Sine Qua Non Syrah B 20  (Central Coast) 94

Powerful, intense aromatics meshing blueberry, coffee, almond joy, blackberry liqueuer and 5 spice explode in your face. While concentrated, for Sine Qua Non, the wine lacks the weight and richness found in most vintages. In density, think of the 2001 or older Sine Qua Non Syrah wines, but with less ripeness. The wine ends with a rich, vanilla, blueberry pie sensation.

7056 Views   Tasted

Midnight black with a purple sheen in the color. The perfume displays jammy blackberries, coffee, blueberries, spice, smoke, black cherry liqueur and earthy scents. Plush in texture, this dense wine fills your mouth with waves of lush, ripe, sweet fruit. From a blend of 91% Syrah, 6% Grenache and a pinch of Viognier, this pleasure machine of a wine ends with a rich, espresso and black with blue fruit profile. A few more years are needed before the oak is fully integrated.

5971 Views   Tasted 95
2008 Sine Qua Non Grenache THE Line  (Central Coast) 95

Licorice, black cherry preserves, black raspberry and spicy scents open to rich, plush, forward, fruit filled wine that is powerful, sweet, lush and ready to drink now.

3094 Views   Tasted

The person bringing the wine must have mugged the UPS driver in front of his house to get it in time for dinner as the wine was opened the day it arrived. Smoke, coffee, blueberry, blackberry and slate aromatics made up the perfume. This ripe, fat, sexy, plush wine floated across your palate. There was not a hard edge to be found. No heat was detected in the wine, even though it was 15.7% percent alcohol by volume. The wine finished with layers of Maraschino cherry liqueur.

7195 Views   Tasted 96
2007 Sine Qua Non Syrah Dangerous Birds  (Central Coast) 99

Another stunning wine from Manfred Krankl and Sine Qua Non! This is close to the level of many of Krankl's best efforts including Inaugural, Pokerface and Just for the Love of it. Black with ink in color, the intense perfume is stuffed with blueberry, coffee, smoke, liqueur, blackberry jam, truffle, cocoa, chocolate, grenadine and spice. Thick, packed and stacked, the wine coats your mouth, palate, teeth and gums with flavor that must last well over a minute. What I find amazing is, with so much of everything, it's all in perfect balance. Drink it young, age it, or enjoy it after a few years. From a blend of 93% Syrah, 4.5% Grenache and 2.5% Viognier from Krankl's Eleven Confessions vineyards, this decadent experience is as good as it gets for Rhone varietals in California. Keep in mind, these are young vines. When these vines get older, as good as this wine is, imagine what Manfred will produce in the coming years!

5245 Views   Tasted
2007 Sine Qua Non Body & Soul  (California) 94

Still youthful, the wine remains rich, concentrated, lush, powerful, sweet and juicy. Notes of white peach, honeysuckle, tropical fruits, vanilla bean and orange rind are all over the place. The wine was a perfect foil for the spicy pork dish.

1932 Views   Tasted

Body and Soul offers a boat load of spice, honey, bees wax, cinnamon and citrus aromas and flavors in this big, fat, juicy, concentrated wine.

5600 Views   Tasted 92
2007 Sine Qua Non Syrah Labels  (Central Coast) 95

Big, intense, fleshy and packed with dark berries, blueberry, jam, smoke and espresso bean, the powerful wine ends with a mouth coating finish of ripe, fleshy, sweet, jammy berries.

4309 Views   Tasted

A pungent perfume of black and blue fruit, earth, cappuccino, spice and caramel greet your nose. Full bodied, dense and rich, this powerful, fat, intense wine requires a few years before it fully opens.

6848 Views   Tasted 95
2006 Sine Qua Non Syrah A Shot in the Dark  (California) 98

Big, bold, rich, massively concentrated and intense, yet elegant in its own way. The ocean of flawlessly ripe fruit is in balance, leaving you with a plush, opulent finish that does not quit.

6106 Views   Tasted
2006 Sine Qua Non Grenache Raven Series  (California) 95

A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah produced a wine packed with licorice, vanilla, ripe cherries, black raspberry, earth, spice, coffee bean and blueberries. Round, plush, open and packed with layers of sweet, ripe, jammy berries, spice and earth, the wine is already showing well. Popped and poured, the wine improved in the glass. This is already drinking well. If you have a bottle, there is no reason to wait.

4583 Views   Tasted
2006 Sine Qua Non Syrah Raven Series  (California) 96

06 Sine Qua Non Raven pops from the glass like a jack in the box! Espresso, blackberry, blueberry, black raspberry, spice, jam and vanilla aromatics are all over the place. Thick, rich, dense and packed with layers of juicy ripe and over ripe fruit, this powerful Syrah ends with ripe jammy berries, chocolate, plums and oak. With so much fruit, I believe the oak will fully integrate. This wine is showing much better than it did a year ago.

6513 Views   Tasted
2005 Sine Qua Non Syrah The 17th Nail in My Cranium  (California) 100

Is this the best wine ever produced from Sine Qua Non? Perhaps. At the minimum, it's certainly a candidate for consideration, and for good reason. There is so much intensity and concentration here, yet the wine is balanced, fresh and in harmony. Thick, dense, polished, packed and stacked with layers of black and blue fruit, jam, black cherry liqueur, campfire smoke, licorice and dark chocolate, made from 100% pure cocoa, the wine coats your palate, teeth and gums. The finish breaks the 60 second mark!

4914 Views   Tasted
2005 Sine Qua Non Chardonnay Mr. K The Noble Man  (Edna Valley) 90

This incredibly dense, rich, sweet wine offers sweet, apples, pears, honey, pineapple, apricot and vanilla. The wine is too sweet and cloying and needs more acidity.

3626 Views   Tasted
2005 Sine Qua Non The Petition  (California) 91

Produced from a blend of Viognier, Roussanne, and 30% Chardonnay from two vineyard sources, Alban and Eleven Confessions, the full bodied wine offers a powerful melange of fresh peach, hot stones, spice, earth and petrol flavors.

5425 Views   Tasted
2005 Sine Qua Non Pinot Noir Over & Out  (California) 91

The aptly named wine earned its moniker because it represented the final vintage of Pinot Noir produced by Manfred and Elaine Krankl. The perfume is filled with ripe black raspberries, cola, strawberry jam and earthy scents. The wine feels a little hot in the mouth before finishing with jammy berries and cola flavors.

4270 Views   Tasted
2005 Sine Qua Non Grenache Atlantis Fe2O3~2d Vin de Paille  (California) 91

Fat, sweet, dense, spicy and rich, just a dab will do you. The wine is incredibly sweet, as well as unctuous, the fruit has a high sugar level, almost too high for my taste. But if you have a sweet tooth, this could be for you.

1431 Views   Tasted

My first time tasting a red Vin de Paille, and it was an interesting wine. Sweet, ripe, dark red fruits, with a delicious, pure cherry center of fruit, but it felt low in acidity and while tasty, not overly complex. On the other hand, it's going to spark a lot of pro and con talk, so it is a fun wine to bring to a tasting, especially blind.

2307 Views   Tasted 91
2005 Sine Qua Non Syrah Atlantis Fe2O3~1a, b & c  (California) 97

Still young, fresh, intense, vibrant and packed to the rim with black and blue fruit, flowers, incense and espresso, rich, fleshy, flashy textures and a long, intense, powerful, sweet fruit filled finish.

3412 Views   Tasted

Popped into the decanter and poured, this Syrah offered pungent blueberry, blackberry jam, fennel, coffee, spice box and liqueur aromas. Thick, rich, dense and mouth filling, this full bodied wine is a tactile experience. Gobs of soft, ripe, polished berries coat your palate. The wine with a blast of espresso, dark berries and jammy flavors. This is a wine for pleasure seekers. I was happy to share this with friends from Bordeaux and my special co-hostess.

7838 Views   Tasted 97
2004 Sine Qua Non Into the Dark  (Central Coast) 97

The current benchmark for Grenache in California. The nose explodes with massive layers of fruit and sweet spice aromas. The palate enjoys the soft, ripe fruit that gently flows over it. Already showing well…. this is a wine for hedonists

2936 Views   Tasted
2004 Sine Qua Non Syrah Poker Face  (Central Coast) 100

Boom! That's what happens with the perfume the moment the wine leaps from the bottle. Espresso, blackberry, caramel, jam, chocolate, spice and blueberries fill the air. This thick, luxurious, full bodied, opulent wine coats your mouth and palate with velvety textured fruit. This wine is huge, but everything is in balance. The wine finishes with a pallet full of palate staining black and blue fruit. This is a true benchmark wine for Syrah in California!

8976 Views   Tasted

This is almost black in color. Very rich, ripe aromas of oak, pepper, blackberry liquor continue gaining strength in the glass. This very dense, concentrated wine has enough lift to keep it exciting and fresh in the mouth. The massive wine finishes with a tidal wave of ripe, black cherry, vanilla, blue fruit and blackberries. This wine truly coats your palate.

5408 Views   Tasted 98

Almost opaque in color. The aromatics are intense. Black and blue fruit as well as plums, vanilla and spice explode from the glass. Incredible levels of concentration. This has a bit more structure than JFTLOI, but, it lacks the same plush texture. The finish must last close to a minute. Give it a few years to add more complexity. This is a monumental California Syrah.

3097 Views   Tasted 99
2003 Sine Qua Non Syrah Papa  (Central Coast) 98

This has really calmed down and morphed into a beauty. The wine reminds me of a very, ripe vintage of Cote Rotie, with its silky tannins, soft, sweet, ripe, red and boysenberry fruits, concentration and crushed rock character. Powerful, but refined, concentrated and balanced, this has a lot to offer today.

3640 Views   Tasted

"Papa" wants to know, "Who's your daddy now?" The only answer possible is, "You are!" Intense layers of fat, ripe, juicy dark berries, smoke, espresso bean, blueberry, truffles and spice, what's not to like? With so much weight, it's amazing to experience equal amounts of finesse and precision. The mouth feel combines hedonism with polish. The label like all of Manfred Krankl's is a work of art dedicated to his father. The chocolate covered blue and black fruit finish remains on your palate for close to sixty seconds! This is drinking at perfection today. The only reason this does not hit triple digits is, as hard as it is to believe, Inaugural and a few other vintages of Sine Qua Non are even better!

7876 Views   Tasted 99
2003 Sine Qua Non Li'l E  (Central Coast) 93

Lil E, Named after Elaine Krankl opens with fresh coffee, blueberry pie, oak, and jammy black raspberries. Fat, rich and round, this mature, plump, Grenache wine ends with a melange of ripe, black and red fruits.

2939 Views   Tasted
2003 Sine Qua Non Sublime Isolation  (California) 92

It reminded me of a white Chateauneuf with its exotic taste and opulent texture. Notes of honey, flowers and citrus oil beckoned. The plush, mouth feel was rich and semi oily.

1005 Views   Tasted
2003 Sine Qua Non Pinot Noir Omega  (Yamhill County) 94

Still going strong at close to 14 years of age, the wine is full bodied, rich, plushly textured and loaded with smoke, espresso, wild strawberry, spice and cherry liqueur notes.

2823 Views   Tasted
2002 Sine Qua Non Chardonnay Mr. K The Noble Man  (Edna Valley) 95

Thick, unctuous, rich and incredibly sweet, the complex array of spicy orange, tangerines, apricot and tropical fruits slathered with honey was almost too much of a good thing. A little goes a long way with this sweet, treat. Blind, I would have guessed it was a TBA.

2734 Views   Tasted
2002 Sine Qua Non Pinot Noir Hollerin' M  (Yamhill County) 94

This is filled with ripe black cherry, spice, jammy berries and smoke aromas. Powerful, concentratedl and packed with ripe fruit, the wine finishes with a long sensation of jammy, red berries. This is not Burgundy, and it's not trying to be Burgundy. But it's a tasty Pinot Noir in the prime of its life.

3922 Views   Tasted

Deep colored with scents of blackberry liqueur, anise and herbs. The big, concentrated lush wine offered a juicy mouthful of sweet, ripe, black and red fruits.

3105 Views   Tasted 90
2002 Sine Qua Non Syrah Just For the Love of It  (California) 99

A clear reference wine for California Syrah, this is a stud. Big, balanced, bold and loaded with juicy, rich fruit and flavor. The wine coats your mouth and palate in all the right ways. There is probably no reason to age this, but I'm not sure you need to hurry to drink it. Still, I want to finish my remaining bottles by the time the wine hits its 20 birthday.

4583 Views   Tasted

Decanting is not needed to experience the powerful, blackberry, blueberry, smoke, coffee, cinnamon and clove drenched aromas. Thick, rich and voluptuous in texture, this Syrah based wine is intense. The long, viscous finish ends with black cherries and espresso bean. Except for feeling slightly lighter than it did a few years ago, the wine has not changed much over the past several years.

7100 Views   Tasted 98

2002 Sine Qua Non Just For The Love of It offers an insane nose of fresh picked blueberries, jammy blackberries, cappuccino, spice and smoke. Dense, thick and juicy, this palate drenching wine coats your mouth with layers of plush, ripe berries, chocolate and jam. The wine has not evolved over the past few years. I am not sure it will change much with more aging. I expect it to remain at this level for the next several years. This is such a hedonistic tasting experience, there is no reason not to pop a bottle and see for yourself. 100 Pts

10364 Views   Tasted 100

Blue fruit, jammy blackberry, licorice, vanilla and chocolate screamed form the glass. Thick, rich, dense and intense. The opulent mouth filling texture fills your senses with ripe, juicy fruit that gushes all over your palate! To me, this wine does not seem to improve in the bottle. It has been drinking at this level since it was released. The only reason I did not give it a triple digit score is, Inaugural and On your Toes were both better wines.

8850 Views   Tasted 99

This wine is special. It coats your mouth, palate and senses with so many layers of concentrated, decadent, ripe fruit, you could easily get lost in it. For me, this remains the bottling of Calif Syrah that all other wine makers should strive to produce.

3911 Views   Tasted 99

The color had this striking, bright, shiny, purple hue. The aromatics were off the charts! Complex and very concentrated. After experiencing the perfume, your palate is awash in thick, concentrated, opulent, endless layers of ripe fruit. This has a palate presence that must be experienced to be believed!

5347 Views   Tasted 100
2002 Sine Qua Non Grenache More Than a Number  (California) 94

Deep color. Fat, plush, ripe and sexy. Blue tinged fruit, blackberry, cherry and licorice notes are easy to find. The opulent wine coats over your palate. This is drinking at a great place. I wish I had a few more bottles to see how it ages.

2939 Views   Tasted
2002 Sine Qua Non Sémillon Mr. K The Straw Man  (Edna Valley) 90

This opens with an intense, sweet perfume filled with fresh picked apricots, brown sugar, honey, roasted peanuts and orangesicle Thick, dense and stuffed with as much sweet fruit as possible, it was too much of a good thing for me. With the texture of syrup feels fat and lazy on your palate. More acidity would have given it better lift. Fans of Essencia from Tokaji will love this wine more than I did.

2989 Views   Tasted
2001 Sine Qua Non Chardonnay Mr. K The Noble Man  (Edna Valley) 93

Deep orange in color, the wine is packed with scents of vanilla, orange, honey, lemon, pineapple, apricot and tropical fruit drenched in macadamia nut honey. Thick, intense and with the texture of syrup, the wine coats your glass and palate. It’s pure intensity. I would have liked a bit more acidity.

3045 Views   Tasted

The color of honey, which is perfect for this wine. Scents of honey coated, apricots, mango, orange, mango, flowers, spice, roasted nuts and pineapple are easy to find. Thick, rich and intense, this immense, sweet wine is about power and sweetness and not finesse or freshness. I get the quality, but its a wine for sugar addicts.

2499 Views   Tasted 94
2001 Sine Qua Non Sémillon Mr. K The Straw Man  (Edna Valley) 96

Just a super wine, but clearly not for everyone. Intense, fat and incredibly sweet, this is about as unctuous as it gets. Yet there was a clear line of acidity running right down the middle. Not quite enough lift for me to want a second glass, but it was perfect for a small pour at the end of the night.

1617 Views   Tasted
2001 Sine Qua Non Midnight Oil  (Central Coast) 94

Combining black and blue fruit, with caramel, coffee and vanilla, the wine is rich, concentrated, full bodied and deep. There is a touch of heat in the otherwise outstanding finish.

3869 Views   Tasted

Blueberry, blackberry, coffee, smoke, licorice and black cherry scents pop from the glass. This huge, mouth filling, powerful, plush textured wine is concentrated with layers of fat, juicy, ripe, jammy blackberries, blueberry and chocolate flavors.

5756 Views   Tasted 96
2001 Sine Qua Non Albino  (Central Coast) 91

Huge, concentrated wine with lemon, crushed rock, floral and citrus oil scents.

1119 Views   Tasted
2000 Sine Qua Non Viognier Mr. K The Noble Man  (Edna Valley) 90

This thick, extremely concentrated and full bodied wine has a nice perfume with notes of apricot, papaya, mango, vanilla custard and fresh cut grass. The palate enjoys honeyed tropical fruits with a clean 30 second finish. But the wine lacked acidity and was slightly flabby. Others who enjoy levels of concentration will like it more.

2552 Views   Tasted
2000 Sine Qua Non Syrah Heels Over Head  (California) 80

Heels over Head is the rarest Sine Qua Non wine after the Queen of Spades. The wine was a semi joint venture between Manfred Krankl and Dan Phillips of the Grateful Palate. Phillips purchased a barrel and raised it in 100% new American oak without the assistance of Krankl. Under 300 bottles were produced. The wine was sold to customers of The Grateful Palate. If you're a pickle fan, this wine is for you. It smells like an oak barrel of fresh, chocolate covered pickles. The wine is drying out and ends with a sour finish. There are wines to drink, wines to buy and wines to sell. At a value of over $1,000, this is a wine to sell! This is funny! The last time I tasted this wine about 6 years ago. I was positive I would never have the chance to taste it again. After posting this note, I just saw my score from 6 years ago. It was exactly the same! Great minds think alike...

3871 Views   Tasted

25 cases were produced. The wine was raised and sold through the Grateful Palate. Unlike any Sine Qua Non I’ve tasted previously. I think it spent too much time in American Oak. The nose was filled with dill pickle, pepper and bizarre herbs. Completely out of balance. Sour and unpleasant finish.

3871 Views   Tasted 80
2000 Sine Qua Non Syrah In Flagrante  (California) 96

Dark black, purple. Jammy blackberries, coffee, herbs, blueberry and kirsch. Full bodied, rich, opulent fruit. Very sensuous mouth feel. Extremely ripe cherries, strawberries, raspberries and plums take over you palate. Beautiful :50 finish slightly marred by a tinge of heat from the 14.9% alcohol. This may gain additional complexity with age, but I prefer it in its youth.

2466 Views   Tasted
1999 Sine Qua Non Sémillon Mr. K Vin De Paille  (California) 93

This is so concentrated, a half bottle was enough for all 9 of us. Very thick, tropical, exotic and concentrated. Immense concentration and sugar levels. A little goes a long way, but it was the perfect end to a perfect evening.

1727 Views   Tasted

Thick, juicy apricots with accents of guava, orange and toasted bread. Amazingly concentrated. This wine can be eaten or drank! Needs more acidity.

1886 Views   Tasted 95
1999 Sine Qua Non Pinot Noir Ox  (Yamhill County) 90

Earth, spice, dark cherry, truffle scents make up the perfume. Medium bodied with some heat, the wine ends with a spicy, black cherry and cola sensation. The wine is slightly past full maturity and needs to be drunk up sooner than later.

3363 Views   Tasted
1999 Sine Qua Non Icarus  (Central Coast) 91

Big, bold and beautiful style of Grenache. It has nothing in common with Chateauneuf Du Pape. But, who cares? That’s what I own Chateauneuf for. Ripe, black fruit, blueberries, boysenberries, chocolate, spices and herbs are easily found in this voluptuous wine. Probably mature, definitely ready to drink.

3853 Views   Tasted

Spicy, ripe, rich blue and black fruits. Yes, it’s lush, plush and in your face, but that’s the beauty of it. I doubt this will be a long lived wine, but it delivers ample pleasure today

1862 Views   Tasted 91
1999 Sine Qua Non Gewürztraminer Mr. K. Eiswein  (California) 93

Beautiful aromas of honeysuckle, apricots, oranges, flowers and crème brulee’ blended into a great perfume. The palate was very thick, dense and concentrated, but it could have used a more acidity as the wine was flabby in the mouth.

2074 Views   Tasted
1998 Sine Qua Non Backward & Forward  (Napa Valley) 88

High pitched aromatics with notes of lemon, lime, petrol and apples. Dense, full bodied. On the palate, sweet, lemony, lime flavors with a spicy quality. Slightly hot finish. This was not a wine I enjoyed. For me, it was too over the top. It had too much of everything. It reminded me a bit of Turley’s White Coat. As a reference point, I liked the Albino much more.

2642 Views   Tasted
1998 Sine Qua Non Viognier Mr. K. TBA  (Edna Valley) 94

Still incredibly concentrated, with multiple layers of apricot, honey and assorted tropical fruit aromas, the passage of time has made this a much better wine. Served double blind, no one confused this with Sauternes, but everyone asked for seconds

3717 Views   Tasted
1998 Sine Qua Non E-Raised  (Central Coast) 95

At close to 10 years, time has been good to this wine. Mountains of jammy black fruit and spices jump from the glass. Very concentrated. The sexy juice coats your palate with layers of dark berries. There is no reason to hold this wine any longer. This is probably fully developed.

2832 Views   Tasted
1997 Sine Qua Non Impostor McCoy  (Central Coast) 93

Refined in personality, lacking the depth of flavor and concentration displayed in current vintages, the wine is expressive, with its earthy, smoky black cherry, herbs, fennel and coffee. Soft and inviting, this is at peak.

2989 Views   Tasted
1996 Sine Qua Non Against the Wall  (Central Coast) 92

Fully mature, this requires consumption to capture the remaining ripe back raspberries, earth, smoke, espresso, pepper and wild strawberry jam notes. Lacking the body and depth of current vintages, this was a fun look back at the early years of Sine Qua Non. I'd drink this sooner than later if I had any remaining bottles.

4942 Views   Tasted