2013 Sine Qua Non Grenache Jusqu' a l'os Eleven Confessions Estate Vineyard

Year: 2013
Appellation: Ventura
Country: USA-California
Wine Advocate: 100
Vinous Media: 96+
Jeb Dunnuck: 98+
Red Wine
Price :
$499.95

"The 2013 Grenache Jusqu' a l'os was produced from 79% Grenache from the 11 Confessions Vineyard along with 18% Syrah and 3% Petite Sirah, produced using 89% whole cluster and aged for around 38 months in 51% used oak, 6% new French oak and 43% concrete tanks (bottled December 6, 2016). It displays a medium to deep garnet color and rock star vibrant red currant and black raspberry scents with hints of licorice, mocha, Indian spices and peppered salami plus oh-so-fragrant and seductive touches of potpourri and chargrill. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated and opulently fruited in the mouth, the alluring, velvety tannins support savory, spicy layers right through the long, mineral-laced finish. This is one drop dead gorgeous, femme fatale of a wine. 868 cases of 750 milliliter bottles, 223 magnums and 30 double magnums were made.

Having not seen the Krankls since an event in Hong Kong around three and a half years ago, I visited Sine Qua Non in September this year, just one day prior to the third anniversary of Manfred Krankl’s motorcycle accident. It was like a hundred years had passed and no time at all. Manfred and Elaine both looked extremely well, albeit as though their chakras had been totally reset with a sledgehammer. Without doubt, they’ve come through a close shave, stronger, richer in spirit and taking nothing for granted.

I think it is a testament to all the rock-solid groundwork with attention to the most minute details that have been laid down in the vineyards (mostly estate now) and the winery since their inceptions, and to Manfred’s “rock,” Elaine, not to mention the winery’s dedicated team, that the winery did not miss a single beat during the 2014 harvest. The 2014 releases from Sine Qua Non and Next of Kyn are simply stunning, possessing at once incredible perfumes and provocative gravitas. As for the 2015s, they do not just beautifully encapsulate the incredible energy and multilayered depths that the best wines of this vintage possess—they essentialize these attributes, while the late-released 2013s are pure power juxtaposed by carefree decadence and wanton opulence. As you will see from my notes and scores, my excitement for these wines is about as fervent as it gets. Those who know me, know that I do not hand out 100-point scores lightly or often, but I am compelled to give a perfect score when the wine clearly deserves nothing less.

My visit to Sine Qua Non was after having spent two weeks driving from Napa to Paso Robles and down to Santa Barbara, visiting wineries, staying in Airbnbs and tasting, tasting, tasting my way through more than 1,100 California Central Coast wines. At the risk of preaching to the many of the converted out there, I cannot but say openly what a lot of followers of this winery already know: Sine Qua Non is leagues ahead of most of the wineries of this major area in terms of not just signature style, consistency and plain deliciousness, but in terms of utmost quality. This is the undeniable truth right now. The levels to which the Krankls and their team have taken the vineyards in the heart of California Central Coast is astonishing. Their work ethic, creativity and no-compromise stance should be considered a beacon for other wineries seeking sky’s-the-limit heights.

Apart from tasting the usual suspect grapes and vineyards from Sine Qua Non, I also got the opportunity to be the first person outside of the winery to taste the inaugural and very limited edition offering coming exclusively from their estate vineyard called The Third Twin. The vineyard, located in Los Alamos, about a 40-minute drive north of Santa Barbara, has belonged to Manfred and Elaine Krankl since 2000. At the time of purchase, around 15 acres were already planted to Syrah and Petite Sirah. In February 2011, the Krankls planted a further 11 acres in a block of almost pure sand, including about 1.33 acres to the Spanish variety Graciano. They decided to bottle a small amount (65 cases only) of the 2014 vintage. This is without a doubt the finest example of this grape I have ever tasted." (WA)

"A darker, more potent side of Grenache comes through in the 2013 Grenache Jusqu'à l'Os. This powerhouse wine is nowhere near ready to drink. Swaths of tannin enshroud a core of plum, dark fruit in this muscular, brooding Grenache from Sine Qua Non. Readers will have to be patient. The 2013 is 79% Grenache, 18% Syrah and 3% Petite Sirah, all from Eleven Confessions, done with 89% whole clusters." (VM)

"Meaning “To The Bone” in English, the 2013 Grenache Jusqu’ a l’Os is the estate release from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard and is a blend of 79% Grenache, 18% Syrah and 3% Petite Sirah that was fermented with very little destemming and aged 38 months in 6% new French oak, 51% used barrels, and 43% in concrete tanks. It’s a peppery, perfumed, seriously endowed Grenache that offers tons of blackcurrants, blackberries, smoked earth, toasted spice and graphite aromas and flavors. Big, backward, tight and structured, yet gorgeously concentrated, it needs 4-5 years of cellaring to hit its peak and will see its 20th birthday in fine form." (JD)