TN: Three Syrahs w/ Bill&Jane...(short/boring)

We had Bill&Jane Easton over for dinner Sat night and had these three Syrahs:

  1. ReneRostaing AC: Cote-Rotie (12.5%; MeBalP) Ampuis 1990: Med. somewhat bricking color; lovely smoked meats/espresso/roasted/pungent classic mature C-R very complex nose; lightly tart bit drying/astringent strong smokey/smoked meats/espresso/roasted little fruit quite complex/old C-R flavor w/ light drying/astringent tannins; long bit drying/astringent classic mature C-R/roasted/espresso/smoked meats finish w/ light astringent tannins; a lovely complex mature C-R but starting to dry out on the palate.

  1. Christophe et Maryline Billon AC: Cote-Rotie LesElotins (13.5%) Ampuis 2003: Very dark color w/ no bricking; fairly strong blackberry/Syrah/ripe slight roasted/C-R bit complex nose; soft/fat strong Syrah/blackberry/ripe/big fruit very slight coffee/roasted flavor w/ light slightly bitey tannins; very long slight roasted/C-R strong primary/blackberry/Syrah/ripe fruit finish w/ light angular tannins; lots of primary Syrah fruit but not a lot of smokey/C-R character; a sound 4-square kind of Syrah.

  1. SineQuaNon Queen of Spades SBC TW (100 measly cases; ??%) elaine & manfred KRANKL/ArroyoGrande 1994: very dark/near black color w/ no bricking in a trademark massive SQN btl; very strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry/ripe slight smokey/espresso rather toasty/Fr.oak slight peppery/spicy some complex Syrah nose; soft ripe/lush/mouthfilling structured very strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry/ripe some peppery/cracked black pepper bit smokey/C-R-like strong toasty/Fr.oak complex flavor w/ modest ripe/angular tannins; very long/lingering intense/primary blackberry/Syrah/ripe/boysenberry some toasty/oak slight C-R/cracked black pepper/smokey bit complex finish w/ modest hard/angular tannins; still very youthful & loads of primary Syrah fruit; probably not going anywhere I suspect and will unlikely ever have the complexity of the Rostaing; resembles some a 10yr old Jaffurs Thompson Syrah; an impressive wine because of the intensity of primary fruit after 23 yrs of age.

A wee BloodyPulpit:

  1. The Billon C-R was a wine Connie brought. She had purchased it a Marche au Vin and arranged for it to be shipped over. LesElotins is their blended C-R from their various parcels in C-R. This is a producer w/ whom I’ve had no experience.

  1. SQN QoS: This was the inaugural vintage of SQN. So a piece of history I thought worth sharing. Sells for about $1700 on the current market. Manfred made his first wines at AdamTolmach’s OjaiVnyd, which is where I discovered them. I saw some barrels marked w/ visiting w/ Adam that were chalked w/ “SQN”. When I asked Adam about them, he gave me this $hit-eating grin and responded “Ohhh…that’s Manfred Krankl…you should meet him…somebody to watch”. The following yr, I was making a visit w/ JohnAlban and Manfred was there, working on his wine that he’d brought up from Ojai. John introduced us & that’s was when I got on the SQN mailing list. The subsequent yr, I made an appointment for a visit w/ Manfred, at his wnry out behind this junkyard on the outskirts of Ventura. We tasted a few things but wound up talking more about his LaBrea bread.
    Though SQN (like Alban) is not a style of Syrah that particularly appeals to me anymore, this was a wine I wound up liking quite a lot. It shows no signs of drying out are falling apart. Probably best to drink up now as I doubt it’ll ever develop a whole lot of complexity like a good C-R or a Qupe or EdStJohn.


Thanks for posting - and I’m sure that Bill and Jane were appreciative of these wines indeed!

That SQN sounds really interesting - sounds like it was aged in mainly new oak? Do you have any more details of vineyard sources, etc? How long was it in oak?

And as with all things wine, ‘complexity’ is certainly in the eyes of the beholder :slight_smile:


Clueless, as usual, Larry. I knew at one time the source. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was Thompson. Don’t know for sure
the oak treatment but would guess at least 2 yrs in new oak. When I first had it, I recall it showing very heavy
oak like the Albans. But not as burnt/charred as John’s.

Hold on. I am no SQN expert-I know next to nothing-but if it was labeled “Arroyo Grande” than it could not have come out of SBC’s Thompson and we know it came from Manfred’s good buddy who is king of huge syrah out of “Arroya Grandy” as the locals call it, JA. When I attended the infamous 2002 HdR where Rudy came riding in with his huge Hummer just in time to keep his paddle up until the gavel came down with the hand pointed at him as ultmate bidder on a special barrel of Alban sourced Grenache from SQN, it was known that Manfred was still sourcing fruit from Alban. Am I missing somethin’?

The front label clearly stated SBC RW. That means the grapes came…read my lips…from SantaBarbaraCnty. I don’t know that Manfred ever sourced from
JohnAlban’s vnyd, but I could very well be wrong. Maybe Viog/Rouss for his whites. In fact, his first Roussanne, “The Roosannes Are Coming” was probably
from John’s fruit as there wasn’t much Roussanne around back then.
The back label read “Elaine & Manfred Krankl ArroyoGrande” because that’s were Manfred was making his wine when this SantaBarbaraCounty
Syrah was bttld. The provenance of the Alban/SQN barrel at HdR…I have no clue here.