The wines of Sine Qua Non are made by the eccentric Manfred Krankle in the outer suburbs of Ventura California, in a winery described by Robert Parker as "a set scene from the movie Mad Max". Each is produced in minute quantities from impossibly low yields, bought in from trusted vignerons in the central coast area. With little estate fruit to speak of and constantly changing tastes, Manfred Krankle rarely makes the same wine twice, prefering to be able to chop and change vineyards as he sees fit. While this is an unorthodox approach for a quality producer it doesn't seem to affect the quality of his wines, which regularly receive Parker scores in the high 90's, very often reaching the mythical 100 mark. As Krankl himself says, "People buy Sine Qua Non, they don't give a toot where it's from".
Sine Qua Non Distenta Grenache 2019
The 2019 Grenache Distenta I is composed of 76% Grenache, 9.3% Syrah, 8% Mourvèdre, 4.3% Petite Sirah and 2.4% Viognier. It was fermented with 43.5% whole clusters (predominantly Grenache) and matured for 23 months in 26.5% new French oak. Deep ruby-purple in color, it explodes with scents of crushed blackberries and blueberries, tar, coffee beans, cracked pepper and thyme. The full-bodied palate has a frame of grainy tannins, seamless acidity and layer after layer of spicy and floral fruit. It has a latency that suggests it will continue to develop for many years in bottle. 1,536 cases and 600 magnums will be released in the spring of 2022. This 2019 is made almost entirely from estate fruit—just 15% comes from the Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. The rest of the fruit comes from estate vineyards The Third Twin (39%), Eleven Confessions (32%), Cumulus (11%) and Molly Aïda (3%). 99 Points, Wine Advocate