Sine Qua Non Ziehharmonika Syrah 2018
|Region||California, Central Coast|
|Brand||Sine Qua Non|
Manfred Krankl did point out that the name of this wine is not definitely but probably going to be "Squeezebox." There are still a bunch of hoops to jump through before the label is signed, sealed and delivered. He shared the artwork for the label with me, again probably final but not yet definite, but which I think fans of are going to love. Who knew Mr. K played the squeezebox? (UPDATE: The name of this wine is now officially Ziehharmonika, not "Squeezebox.") The vineyard sources for this wine are 51% The Third Twin, 43% Eleven Confessions and 6% Cumulus-all estate-owned vineyards. The 2018 Syrah Ziehharmonika is composed of 82% Syrah, 6.7% Mourvèdre, 5% Petite Sirah, 2.3% Grenache, 2.7% Viognier and 1.3% Muscat. "I think Muscat is the number one white grape for me to blend with reds," Manfred said. "It kinda triples the effect of the wine." The wine is due to be bottled in August 2020, very soon after I tasted it, and after 23 months of aging. It was reared in 51% new French oak, 46% in used barrels and 3% in terracotta. (The terracotta is only used for whites.) Very deep garnet-purple colored, the nose kicks off with bright, vivacious scents of freshly cracked black pepper, licorice, baker's chocolate and menthol before opening out to a core just singing of Black Forest cake, wild blueberries and ripe blackberries with wafts of smoky bacon and garrigue. Full-bodied, firm and beautifully textured with perfectly ripe, velvety tannins, it has invigorating freshness and a very long, multi-layered finish. Its rock-solid structure and intensity suggest this wine will be very long lived indeed. 1,900 cases and 600 magnums were made.
The 2018 Syrah Ziehharmonika (this was previously released as "Squeezebox") looks to be another magical wine in the making. This release comes mostly from the Third Twin and Eleven Confessions Vineyards yet has 6% from the Cumulus Vineyard around the estate in Oak View. The blend is 82% Syrah, 6.7% Mourvèdre, 5% Petite Sirah, and the rest Grenache, all still aging in 51% new French oak. A killer nose of blue fruits, white and black pepper, lots of spice, white flowers, and a touch of minerality gives way to a full-bodied, beautifully textured 2018 with good acidity, plenty of underlying tannins, and the purity of fruit and elegance that makes 2018 such a compelling vintage.
The 2018 Syrah Ziehharmonika is another absolutely exquisite wine from Elaine and Manfred Krankl. Rich, deep and potent to the core, the 2018 captures a striking mix of lush fruit as well as the energy of the year. All the elements simply fall into place in a magical Syrah that will thrill Sine Qua Non lovers. The 2018 is 82% Syrah, 6.7% Mourvèdre, 5.0% Petite Sirah, 2.3 % Grenache, 2.7% Viognier and 1.3% Muscat. Interestingly, the whole clusters are just 14%, so quite a bit lower than found in the Grenache. Vineyard sites are The Third Twin, Eleven Confessions and Cumulus, all estate ranches.