2007 Sine Qua Non Pictures Grenache

Californian wines are overly fruity, too heavy, big, rich, jammy,… those are all adjectives Europeans like to use when describing the wines of the other side of the world (for us). Looking at restaurants or wine dealers in Europe (England excluded), finding a wine from the « new world » is nearly impossible. Finding a serious one even more so, if that is possible to imagine. However, a good thing about being in England is that one is not as prejudiced as the continentals (me being one of them). Therefore you can spot wines such as Harlan, Marcassin, Sine Qua Non, and others on a number of restaurant lists throughout London, and when going through some of the more interesting wine shops, you will be able to find some of these beauties too.

So, now to the wine itself. To put it frankly, it was simply an outer-worldly experience. Every single aspect of the wine was frighteningly close to perfection. But, one after the other. First of all, the labels that Krankl designs are superb. Provocative at times, but always catchy and more interesting than some gothic script spelling out the domaine’s name. Secondly, he changes name and label of every wine, every year. I don’t know many winemakers who do that. Makes it all the more interesting. Thirdly, and most importantly, the wines are truly outrageous. After having it decanted for about an hour or so, this very young wine opened up with a beautifully complex and intense nose. It was just as hard to describe the nose as it was to describe the flavours, therefore I won’t even attempt to do that. However, all I can say is that it was startling, and incredible. There were aromas that I have never had on red wines, especially not on such young ones. Another fascinating point was the texture, yes you read texture, as this had real texture. It was lush, juicy, very concentrated, without being too jammy or cloying, and quite simply a perfectly balanced, intense drop of wine. I have never come across anything like it, and I must say that I hope to be able to have a bit more, at least from time to time, as this was one of those crazy moments that one has very, very rarely when drinking wine.

P.S.: If you open a bottle of it, try to be reasonable and save some for the day after. You’d be surprised by how it changes its character. Dare I say, a grouse at the Ledbury would have trouble finding a better partner…

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