Sine Qua Non Eleven Confessions Grenache 2017

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98 points  -The Wine Advocate

"This Grenache is all Eleven Confessions vineyard-grown fruit. Eleven Confessions is the Krankl’s estate-owned 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.” The 2017 Grenache Eleven Confessions Vineyard is composed of 88.7% Grenache, 10.6% Syrah and 0.7% Viognier. The winemaking includes 47% whole cluster, and it was aged for 38 months in 62% new French oak (83% were large demi-muids) and 38% in used vessels of various ages and sizes (two to five years old). Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the nose starts off a little closed, offering glimpses at stewed plums, blackberry preserves, and chocolate-covered cherries, giving way to fragrant notions of licorice, violets and cinnamon stick. While there’s no question that this is a big, concentrated, full-bodied wine, it is also incredibly elegant, well-poised and nuanced, featuring many floral and baking spice layers within the decadent black fruits and sporting firm, very finely grained tannins, finishing with incredible length and depth. I would recommend a good 3-5 years of cellaring, then drink it over the next 20 years+." -LPB09/2021