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 Vintage2006 Label 1 of 6 
ProducerSine Qua Non (web)
DesignationRaven Series

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2009 and 2020 (based on 16 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Sine Qua Non Grenache Raven Series on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 95 pts. and median of 95 pts. in 173 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by MAXIMUM SATISFACTION on 5/16/2015 & rated 96 points: Decanted for a couple of hours. The wine faired better on its own. Noticeably alcoholic and clumsy at dinner but improved as the night went on. Thick bodied but not syrupy like other years. Very smokey with extracted sweet berry notes. I would have guessed it was the Syrah.

http://www.maxsatisfactionwine.com/post/119111460464 (776 views)
 Tasted by tcarter on 4/17/2015 & rated 99 points: Peter Bothe's 40th Birthday (Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak in Glendale): Quite possibly the Wine of the Night, and a nearly perfect wine. Stellar, stellar stuff. More lush than the Raven Syrah. (1013 views)
 Tasted by rcg62 on 2/28/2015 & rated 98 points: Wow wine! As good of an expression of Grenache as I can remember. Drinking great. Beautiful nose, and giant long, lingering palate of dark tart berry. This is terrific. Like a top Clos des Papes but more deep dark fruit. Decanted two hours. (1431 views)
 Tasted by BinVA on 2/22/2015 & rated 95 points: Mark's Duck House for birthday lunch.
From magnum. Let it sit in the glass 45-60 minutes, really softened and changed over the hour. Dark color, medium-full bodied, fruit was primary with drying tannin. This will go many years longer and probably get even better. A special treat, lucky guy. (1416 views)
 Tasted by Papies on 1/27/2015 & rated 92 points: Double decanted and served almost 2 hours later. Granted the food we had was not the most compatible with this wine but still the wine felt very powerfull and with pronounced alcohol. 15.5% if we remember well. The nose is very special though, full of red fruits, complex and very giving. The alc is evident on the nose too but plays second fiddle to the beautiful fruit. This is grenache nose at a very high level. The palate is not there though and could well be due to youth, but we have no data point to compare unfort. Rich but also on the overpowering side, ripe light raisiny. It didnt talk to us . 92 (1948 views)
 Tasted by Loren Sonkin on 12/7/2014 & rated 95 points: A day of lots of SQN and a few more!; 12/7/2014-12/9/2014 (Loretta Paganini School of Cooking and the Woods of Newbury): Purchased at retail (Whole Foods) from back in the day when SQN was available at retail in Ohio. This was the last vintage for that sadly. Purple in color with some ruby at the rim. The nose is very nice with black cherries, cranberries, spice, and some smoke. Also some earthiness. On the palate, this has a nice complexity. Not as big as most of the wines this day but that of course, is relative. Lots of lush cherries and black cherries on the palate. Tight layering. Great acidity. Long finish. (2212 views)
 Tasted by hoservin on 11/22/2014 & rated 96 points: Aerated with a Vinturi and decanted for two hours. Expressive nose of raspberry, huckleberry, blackberry, licorice, forest floor, coffee and spice. A jammy raspberry and blackberry core combines with coffee, licorice, milk chocolate and spice on the palate. Leads to a very long finish with waves of fruit flavor. Full bodied with a rich, dense, layered texture. This wine is special. Paired with beef stew. (1710 views)
 Tasted by Philippe_C on 7/25/2014 & rated 98 points: Explosive nose of ripe strawberries, white peper, loads of iodine, black cherries.. very powerful, pepery, very sappy red fruit (2810 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 7/24/2014 & rated 98 points: Extremely luxurious bouquet with a hint of pleasant barnyard, luxurious smoky oak and ripe fruits. On the palate sweet spices like cinnamon, herbs and spices, chocolate, ripe and juicy red fruits, a beautiful balance between sweetness and beautiful acidity. A very complete wine. A great beauty already and no problem waiting until 2018+ (2575 views)
 Tasted by Knicksfan on 2/14/2014 & rated 95 points: Stellar (3598 views)
 Tasted by Loren Sonkin on 1/12/2014 & rated 97 points: Awesome Dinner with Friends (Erasmus, SQN, Saxum, Pride, Dehlinger++) (Out and about): Really outstanding but coming after the Clos Erasmus, its differences were evident. This is a brute right now. Big with black raspberries, peppery, lavender, saddle leather on the nose. At first I thought I brought the Syrah, but it was the Grenache. On the palate, for all the jammy fruit, it is smooth and deft. Long finish. This kept opening all night as well. Needs a few more years, but it pretty special right now. (3900 views)
 Tasted by JonnyG on 1/6/2014 & rated 93 points: Cellar Reduction, The Fun Way (Santa Ynez Valley): Such a powerhouse. Nose of bacon and and dark berries. So many flavors swirl in the mouth, from the first sip of the bottle to the last. Sweet currants, berry jam, coffee, spice and licorice. Medium bodied but ponderous as well, with a long finish. My best Raven yet. (3623 views)
 Tasted by Rosengoo on 11/9/2013 & rated 95 points: This was popped and poured with some friends. Although this wine is 7 years old, it's still very youthful and in a great place right now. Very clear and ruby red in colour. This wine had a great mixture of candied cherries and chocolate both on the nose and in the glass. The acidity was at a medium level but the tannins were quite strong. I really enjoyed this bottle tonight and would love to open another one but I think I'll wait and see how it evolves over the next little while. (3046 views)
 Tasted by Kemo Sabe on 10/12/2013 & rated 95 points: Amazing. Only gave it about 15 mins of air before we started drinking but drank over 2-3 hours. What a wine. Balanced, refined, smooth and big all at the same time. Outstanding effort here by Manfred and Elaine. (3165 views)
 Tasted by acyso on 9/6/2013 & rated 93 points: Inky. Very alluring nose of sweet blueberries and black peppers, perhaps to the tune of a breakfast plate of pancakes with blueberry syrup and peppered bacon. Reminds me of To The Rescue. The palate has a nice hit of sweetness, as well as matching notes of blueberries. Definitely has a red-velvet feel, this is a bottle of wine on the plush side without too much else to lean on. Nonetheless, delicious, in small quantities (beware of the 15.5% abv). A bit light on the acidity, this is much easier to approach slightly colder than cellar temperature. (2844 views)
 Tasted by Mr T on 9/4/2013: My first SQN.....very ripe, pure fruit...very pleasant to drink...not sure anything all that complicated but definitely a nice drink and generous gift (2387 views)
 Tasted by hoservin on 8/31/2013 & rated 96 points: Aerated with a Vinturi and decanted for 2.5 hours. A hedonistic nose of raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, milk chocolate, licorice, spice and vanilla. Layers of velvety, rich raspberry and blackberry jam, baking spice and chocolate combined with fine tannins. The finish is very, very long with waves of jammy fruit and tannins. Another great SQN experience. Paired with filet and roasted red pepper sauce. (2234 views)
 Tasted by wineismylife on 8/1/2013 & rated 94 points: WIML94

Tasted non blind at a wine dinner.

Dark garnet to purple color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of bacon fat, currants, plums and black berries. Flavors of currants, cherries, berries and raspberries. Medium acidity, medium tannin, full bodied. Drink now with some air or continue to hold. No rush here. (2385 views)
 Tasted by beezer6 on 5/17/2013 & rated 95 points: Berserker Fest Friday Dinner - SQN Table (Blue Star Bistro - Chicago, IL): Perfume. Lots of floral play. Very nice and one of the most pronounced aromatics of the group. Lots of cinnamon, exotic purple spices. Asian balsamic and blood orange accents.
Very long and clean finish. Glad I have one in the cellar. (2161 views)
 Tasted by Burgundy Al on 5/17/2013 & rated 92 points: Chicago Berserkerfest Dinner (Blue Star Bistro - Chicago IL): Precocious and incredibly primary, this really comes across needing more time in the cellar. Accessible but slightly heavy today. Dense and somewhat brooding. Long finish shows good balance which gives me confidence this will emerge in a nicer place in another year or three. (2899 views)
 Tasted by Productman on 5/12/2013 & rated 95 points: For me this is about as good as it gets in a Grenache. Totally stands up to and is improved by a three hour decant. I bought three bottles at auction and will desperately search for more... Served to a group of extreme wine people and it was the wine of the night - creating more conversation than a Vega Unico 1991 and a VERY special Eschezaux. Surprising currant mocha combo with endless finish. (2183 views)
 Tasted by JimN on 5/5/2013 & rated 94 points: A stand-in following a corked bottle of Into the Dark. No decant, as was not expecting to serve, but poured through a vinturi and then again with each glass. Hedonistic, ripe fruit and exotic spices. Not at all overdone for such a big wine. Some real spine to it. A rich wine for after supper. (2349 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 4/20/2013 & rated 94 points: Bouquet of sweet strawberries, cedar, baking spices, boysenberry and vanilla. The finish is cinnamon, a variety of red berries, currants and chocolate. (2128 views)
 Tasted by Rosengoo on 4/6/2013 & rated 94 points: I brought this bottle to a local restaurant where it was decanted for only 30 minutes. The wine was a wonderful bright purple in colour with no real standout nose to it as it was still slightly chilled from cellaring.
The first sips of this wine showed some thinness with tastes of blueberries but after approximately one hour, the wine thickened up and added some cherries and vanilla became flavours. Despite it's high alcohol levels, it really balanced the acidity and tannins in a good way.
This was a really fun wine to drink. (2405 views)
 Tasted by Knicksfan on 3/9/2013 & rated 95 points: magic in a bottle. (2289 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Jeb Dunnuck
The Rhone Report, Issue #14 (12/18/2012)
(Sine Qua Non Grenache Raven Series) Login and sign up and see review text.   97 points
By Josh Raynolds
Vinous, November/December 2009, IWC Issue #147
(Sine Qua Non Grenache The Raven Series California) Subscribe to see review text.
By Josh Raynolds
Vinous, November/December 2008, IWC Issue #141
(Sine Qua Non Grenache The Raven Series California) Subscribe to see review text.
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (3/7/2013)
(Sine Qua Non Grenache Raven Series) Dark red violet color; roasted black fruit, hickory smoke nose; intense, roasted black fruit, tar, smoke, incipient bacon fat, light pepper palate; medium-plus finish 93+ points (92% Grenache, 8% Syrah; 16.3% alcohol; tastes more like a big Syrah at this stage than a Grenache)  93 points
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (5/7/2009)
(Sine Qua Non Grenache Raven Series) Very dark red violet color; tart dried berry, black fruit, green, mint compote, plum and berry nose; big, tar, black fruit and clove palate; long finish 91+ pts.  91 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of The Rhone Report and Vinous and RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Sine Qua Non

Producer website

Ken Vastola's cool Sine Qua Non pages.

An Interview of Manfred Krankl - Podcast

2006 Sine Qua Non Grenache Raven Series

92% Grenache
8% Syrah
26% whole clusters


Varietal character (Appellation America) - Read more about Grenache


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

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