2013 Sine Qua Non Syrah Le Supplement Eleven Confessions Estate Vineyard

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

"Coming entirely from the Eleven Confessions Estate Vineyard and composed of 89% Syrah, 6% Petite Sirah, 3% Grenache and 2% Viognier, using 28% whole cluster, the 2013 Syrah Le Supplement is just starting to evolve into beguiling earthy/meaty tertiary notes with suggestions of sandalwood, mossy bark, black soil, patchouli and salami over a core of blackberry compote, preserved plums, mincemeat pie and star anise with a touch of dried lavender. Rich, concentrated and decadent, the full-bodied, opulent palate explodes with black fruits preserves peppered by meaty/savory nuances and culminating in epically lingering exotic spice notes. 866 cases, 228 magnums and 30 double magnums were produced.

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)

"Extended time in barrel has given the 2013 Syrah Le Supplement much of its dense, creamy feel. Dark, powerful and sumptuous in the glass, this is a wine of texture above all else. Floral and spice overtones from the whole clusters add appealing strands of aromatic lift. The 2013 is 89% Syrah, 6% Petite Sirah, 3% Grenache and 2% Viognier, all from Eleven Confessions, done with 28% whole clusters." (VM)

"I’ve had so many incredible Syrahs from this estate, it’s hard to tell if the 2013 Syrah Le Supplement will be the best yet, but it’s unquestionably one of the greatest Syrah made in California. Reminding me of the 2009 Côte Rôtie La Turque from Domaine Guigal with its smoky, meaty bouquet of crème de cassis, pencil lead, bacon fat, pepper, espresso and hints of violets, this drop dead gorgeous Syrah is full-bodied, opulent and sexy, yet also concentrated, structured and just hinting at its ultimate potential. I wouldn’t put this past being the greatest Syrah made in California – ever – yet like the Grenache, it needs short term cellaring. Bravo " (JD)