Sine Qua Non Eleven Confessions Syrah 2017
|Region||California, Central Coast|
|Brand||Sine Qua Non|
The 2017 Syrah Eleven Confessions Vineyard is the wine of the vintage, and Syrah simply doesn't get any better. Even in these more difficult vintages, I'm always amazed at what this estate is able to achieve. Dense purple-hued, with an incredible bouquet of sandalwood, dried flowers, incense, saddle leather, and assorted red and blue fruits, it hits the palate with flawless balance, a deep, full-bodied, concentrated mouthfeel, and a heavenly finish. It shows a more up-front, exuberant, sexy style, yet there's still ample underlying structure and depth. Reminding me of Guigal's Côte Rôtie La Mouline (maybe amped up just slightly), drink it over the coming 15-20 years. It's worth pointing out that due to the difficulty in trademarking names today, the longer aged, 100% Eleven Confessions Vineyard Syrah and Grenache will simply bear the name "Eleven Confessions Vineyard" going forward.
The 2017 Syrah Eleven Confessions Vineyard is a bold, racy wine. Layers of deep, dark fruit build as the 2017 shows o! its curves. The purity of the flavors is breathtaking. The 2017 was done with 29% whole clusters and aged in a combination of 59% new oak, 30% concrete and 11% neutral oak. It is a stunning wine in every way.
This is a single-vineyard Syrah-dominant blend coming from the Eleven Confessions Estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. As mentioned in my report last year, 33 acres are planted here. Eleven acres of Pinot Noir were already planted when they purchased the property, about half of which has been grafted over, and a further 22 acres were planted by the Krankls in 2001. In order to fully ripen Manfred's preferred medium-mainly Rhône varieties-in this area more commonly planted to cooler-climate grapes such as Pinot and Chardonnay, the Krankls need to go super low on the yields and long on the hang time. "This vineyard is by far the coolest of our vineyards," Manfred recently explained. "Sometimes we don't harvest until November." Punitive yields of 1.5 tons per acre or less are common. In the years when it's good and ready to sing, Eleven Confessions is used to make a single-vineyard wine under the Sine Qua Non label. "The wines have a lot of structure and presence," Manfred commented. "The soil is mainly heavy clay, so the wines can be pretty muscular."