TN: 2013 Sine Qua Non Syrah ♂ (USA, California, Central Coast)

  • 2013 Sine Qua Non Syrah :male_sign: - USA, California, Central Coast (5/19/2020)
    80% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah, 6% Mourvèdre, 3.5% Touriga Nacional, 3.5% Viognier, 28% whole clusters…this has always been one of my fav sqn syrah’s of all-time…the plushness and cool like Prince in a velvet suit, the rich and extracted, perfectly ripe dark liqueured berry fruits…such intensity, yet elegance and grace. The years have polished the already perfectly balanced wine to a radiant sheen…the fruit is gushing with perfect sweetness to dryness…liqueured berries, creme de cassis, olive tapenade, licorice…crazy intoxicating florals and spices…white pepper, smoked cherry wood/asphalt, cocoa bean, sweet tobacco, viognier pretties, and violet flowers…I can go on and on! Damn near perfection in every way! (98 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

No pre-mox in these bad boys!


One thing that does not mentioned often is ‘structure’ or ‘tannins’ with these wines. They seem to be bold and ‘seamless’ but without excess astringency. Would you agree? And is that what you are implying with the extra time in bottle - that it ‘softened’ or something else?

Do you see much ‘development’ in these wines over time vis a vis most other wines out there?


And I know that I’m a bit of a broken record, but it does kill me that these are referred to as ‘Central Coast’ rather than either SBC or Ojai if that’s where the fruit is coming from . . .


‘Balance’ is always in my notes when I taste these wines from sqn, and yes I’m pretty much referring to how well the tannins and the structure of the wines are so inviting and married well together right out the gate. Solid structure for sure, holds the frame of all that extracted ripe fruit really well, and keeps it from being goopy or overtly sweet. Tannins are definitely there…but soft and plush…‘seamless’ yes. Age just seems to polish them even more so, making for beautiful texture, and not getting in the way of all that damn fine and tasty juice! But hell Larry…you guys are the experts here not me! I’m not good at the technical stuff…so you tell me! [wink.gif]


Just some more thoughts…I tend to drink these wines probably way to young! So I went and looked at my notes on some of the older wines I’ve had at 10+yrs…04 Into the Dark/Poker Face, 00 Incognito, 09 Not an Exit, 07 Dangerous Birds…and with age…they tend to become more feminine with elegance…lose that “ooziness”…more red fruit comes out…more savory notes and less sweetness…even a little Claret like leather as in the case of a 2004 Into the Dark. While ALWAYS still maintaining the impeccable balance and seamlessness…as well as that ‘tasty as hell’ part too!

I’ve always been under the impression that these higher super-extraction wines are not built for aging, but more immediate consumption. It’s the leaner, more austere ones that are built for aging. But it seems to be a split in the wine community about that view, so I’m not sure what is right or wrong.

I get the impression that regular, Spring releases drink well young. Ratsel was a good example. But the EBAs need more time. I liked Dark Blossom as soon it came off the truck, but I heard enough to make me hold off on my Patines. Just now starting to open them and I’m glad I waited.

Then there’s the question of whether or not they shut down two to three years out. I’ve read several posts that say drink them young or hold them 7-10 years.

I think some of the split has to do a lot with personal taste. I still have a ton to learn about aged wine, but a 2006 Saxum Broken Stones I had a few weeks ago was in a beautiful spot for me and wonderfully balanced, both in terms of structure and flavor.

+1. Some people just do not like, to use a term that Elaine Krankl taught me, “Generous” wines.

What I also really love about sqn wines are that they don’t murder other more delicate wines on the table like a burgundy or an aged Barolo. You can still enjoy the nuance and delicacies of those wines even after sipping down on these extracted 15 pluser abv’s…your palate seems to be more heightened. Not that many of you…probably just me and KShin, drink SQN with Burgundy! flirtysmile

If you don’t like it young, you likely wont enjoy it old.