TN: Five SQN Reds....(short/boring)

Laura & Dustin hosted us at Pig+Fig ystrday of a tasting of five SQN reds:

  1. Hollerin’M PinotNoir OR (15.4%) 2002: Very dark color w/ very little bricking; fairly intense black cherry/PN/black cherry cola light toasty/pencilly/Fr.oak some complex beautiful classic OR PN nose; fairly tart rather intense PN/black cherry/black cherry cola rather pencilly/oak some complex flavor w/ light tangy tannins; very long/lingering classic OR PN/black cherry cola strong pencilly/Fr.oak finish w/ light tannins; fairly rich & lush for a mature OR PN; lovely fully-mature PN; probably near its peak or a few more yrs to go; a bit leaner than the other SQNs.

  1. SQN Li’l E Grenache Calif (14.9%) 2003: Very dark color w/ some bricking; strong Grenache/blackberry/boysenberry/bit strawberry/ripe some toasty/Fr.oak/bit smokey slight herbal fairly complex nose; slightly tired/pencilly strong Grenache/blackberry/strawberry some toasty/charred/oak some complex flavor w/ light graceful tannins; very long/lingering some smokey/toasty/oak strong Grenache/blackberry/strawberry bit complex finish w/ light smooth tannins; the only one to show even a hint of its age but still speaking strongly of Grenache fruit, though not profoundly complex.

  1. SQN Atlantis Fe2O3-2c Grenache Calif (15.3%) 2005: Very dark color w/ slight bricking; bit fresher slight volatile strong Grenache/blackberry/strawberry light pencilly/Fr.oak some complex somewhat youthful quite lovely nose; ligtly tart bit alcoholic/volatile bit lighter strawberry/Grenache/blackberry some pencilly/toasty/oak bit complex flavor w/ light smooth tannins; very long/lingering fresher/strawberry/Grenache/blackberry/ripe strong pencilly/Fr.oak/smokey bit complex finish w/ light tannins; a bit lighter & more varietal Grenache fruit & a bit more complex/interesting than the Li’L; lovely nearly fully mature Grenache.

  1. SQN Atlantis Fe2O3-1c Syrah Calif (15.3%) 2005: Very dark/near black color w/ little bricking; very intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/very spicy some cold-climate/black pepper light toasty/pencilly/Fr.oak complex beautiful youthful nose; lightly tart slight mature but not at all tired very strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry some toasty/Fr.oak bit c-c/pepper some complex flaver w/ light gentle tannins; very long/lingering very strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry/ripe some toasty/pencilly/oak bit complex finish w/ light tannins; seems to be fully mature w/ fully resolved tannins but plenty of blackberry/spicy/Syrah fruit & bit of c-c/peppery character; a lovely fully mature Syrah.

  1. SQN Flagrante Syrah (14.9%) 2000: Very dark/black color w/ little evident bricking; some c-c/black pepper intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/quite spicy light toasty/Fr.oak/smokey rather complex nose w/ no signs of age; fairly youthful bit tart intense blackberry/Syrah/very spicy/boysenberry bit c-c/pepper some toasty/Fr.oak/pencilly some complex beautiful youthful flavor w/ light smooth tannins; very long/lingering bit complex youthful/blackberry/Syrah/spicy some toasty/Fr.oak some c-c/black pepper bit complex finish w/ light tannins; in beautiful condition and showing loads of youthful/Syrah fruit & some complexity; beautiful fully mature Syrah.

A wee BloodyPulpit:

  1. I reported a few days ago about tasting 3 SQN’s that had compromised corks:
    In this batch of 5 wines, the Li’l E had a cork that was saturated clear thru, but still in the btl solid & little/no ullage, stored upright. The Atlantis Syrah was the only one stored w/ cork inverted, yet the cork was pristine, solidly in the btl, and little saturation of the cork. The other 3 btls all had pristine corks w/ only the inside end of the cork showing any saturation. In the FWIW category of data.

  1. The Hollerin’M and the Flagrante were provided by Steve. They were both stored on their side w/ the cork end slightly downward. He was originally going to bring the Ox PN '99, but he dropped it on the pavement schlepping it out to the car. He got down on his hands&knees, sniffed the remains in the shattered btl & reported it smelled wonderfully.

  1. Steve thought it was time to taste a SQN or two from his cellar, so I plucked three from my stash & we put this tasting together. Laura&Dustin at Pig+Fig hosted us & provided a few nibbles (salami/cheese paninni & German potato salad).
    All five of these reds were surprisingly youthful, not showing a whole lot of maturity or threat of falling apart. On the palate, the tannins seemed fully resolved. I don’t see holding on to these wines will offer up any benefits than are not presently in them. That is, the wines are still youthful and the tannins fully resolved.
    That being said, there was a bit of sameness to these wines, not a whole lot of distinctiveness (save for the Pinot). Loads of fruit, same toasty/oak, varietally correct, resolved tannins. And, for fully mature reds, they don’t show a profound degree of complexity that you routinely get in a Lindqist/EdStJohn/Jaffurs. But you can’t have it all. None of these five would I throw out of bed. Manfred is doing an excellent job with this big/extracted style. Maybe better than John Alban I would say. All remarkably good/delicious wines.