TN: Rhone dinner (The Grill Room at Capella Hotel Georgetown): This is a typical big scale and tropical fruit driven SQN white but somehow maintains very good balance. Intense flamboyant sweet tropical fruit nose, pineapple, yellow peach, mango, papaya, pine needle, lilac, mineral and sweet spices. Excellent concentration, dense and chewy, tropical fruit driven palate impression, warm and round and long finish that ends with a bit of heat. As usual, some will love and others will hate. A lot better balance and surprisingly fresh for a ten year old SQN white.
Maggie Harrison/Brad Grimes Dinner (Eleven Madison Park): Our first SQN white - this was in competition for WOTN with the '96 Mouton. It was just spectacular. So many different flavors and constantly evolving and changing in the mouth. There's a fullness of flavor (perhaps some Viognier) but the Roussanne pokes through with it's honeysuckle like characteristics. Paired with prawns and I felt like the wine completely overshadowed the dish.
Fifth bottle from this vintage and the best so far. Opened five hours early with no decant, which seemed to add to the complexity. Peaches and cream on the nose give way to honeycomb and lemon meringue on the palate. I don't get the heavy oak that some others have noted, but then I love CA Chardonnay! Just a bit of flabbiness keeps this from getting higher scores from me, because everything else is there.
HDH Auction (Tru - Chicago, IL): Probably the best white wine from SQN that I've ever had. More balanced and precise and lacking the alcoholic edge that so many of their whites can have. Lots of sweet lemon, marzipan, and truffle made this rich, but it had a nice minerality that tied it together.
In the last 2-3 years I have come to realize I have made grave errors drinking the SQN white wines way too young. Don't get me wrong--I like most of them young--so much so that I go through them quickly. But in the last few years I've noticed that they seem to hit a sweet spot around 7 years of age, and I've had both the Rien Ne Va Plus and the Whisperin' E this year (12+ and 10+ years of age respectively) and both were phenomenal (to be fair, both were from magnum). This bottle of The Petition is every bit as good as every other bottle I've had--vibrant, rich fruit, great balance, beautiful gold color. (PE: 96)
The Petition has been one of my favorite SQN whites since release. Last tasted a little over a year ago, it's in an even better place today. Upon opening the nose showed a Sauternes-like (richly fruited) character accented by piney-spice. Day one: the nose built complexity as the wine opened over a couple hours, and the texture was pure silk. Day two: A little more honey/honeycomb on the nose and the flavors and palate showing more back end bitter stone fruit/white Rhone-esque. Still delicious tonight, but better on day one.
First bottle of this in over 4 years. This wine has improved significantly. Much rounder and less bracing acidity. Alcohol is much less apparent. Thick mouthfeel. Butterscotch, honeydew, balanced. Finish is 30-45 seconds. Keeping my remaining bottles now.
Dinner with Friends (Inovasi - Lake Bluff IL): Ripe stone fruit aromas with some toasted nut background notes. Sweet, ripe peach and apricot flavors with some baking spice hints. Good balance for its alcohol level. I've often found my favorite SQN whites to be those based on Rhone varietals with a good dollop of Chardonnay added, like The Petition.
Delicious! Huge nose of creme brûlée, white florals, cheese, olive oil, clay, cider, hibiscus, BBQ lemon, and green herbs. Smelled like Hawaii. A little boozy on the nose and the palate but it wasn't a negative attribute. Oily and warm mouthfeel. Enveloping palate of vanilla, papaya, almond, white pepper, apple cider, sandalwood, and spice. Matched well with multiple cheeses. A chilled tiny leftover sip in the morning revealed honey and citrus. RJ...many thanks!
I thought this bottle was very good, not great. Someone suggested the viognier component had receded a bit leaving the roussaine to predominate. Nose was restrained, palate reminds me of fennel/ anise and was very pleasant.
You expect a lot from a wine at this price point and this one mostly delivers. That said, I was expecting to be wowed and I was only pleased. The floral notes of the Viognier and the spiciness of the Rousanne come together exceptionally well with the Chardonnay. I like this wine as one that may draw in the ABC crowd but not turn of the Chard lovers. Silky mouthfeel and oily viscosity, almost like a sweet wine. Very nice wine, but not sure I'd buy consistently at this price.
yellow color. Quite darl for a white wine. Smalls quite fresh. Full bodied. I was concerned that it might be too old - but it's very much alive! It could use a bit more acidity, but otherwise it's delicious. Excellent! Drink now.
An evening with Chave, SQN, Captain Kirk and others (The Greenhouse Tavern): I believe the same Roussanne, Viognier and Chardonnay blend. The nose is waxy with an almond note to it. Not nearly as expressive as the Whisperin E. Is this in a Rhone-style shut down mode? Perhaps, but it never really opened as much with air. Still, it has a nice complexity to it that the E doesn't have if seemingly buried deep in the wine. It has a waxy/lemon chiffon quality. Like the E, I would prefer a bit more cut to it. Still, it went well with the food.
Displays a striking bright neon yellow color with a slight golden hue, revealing a exotic yet complex nose. Intense aromas of butter, cream, pineapples, papaya, apricots, mango, lychees, white flowers, smoke, rubber hose, and a touch of cinnamon on the end. On the palate the wine is intense filling the mouth with sweet tropical fruits like pineapples, papayas, mango’s, lemon curd, following up to a dense sweet lemon cream mid-palate with well integrated acidity. The finish keeps the density of the mid-palate revealing a wax like texture with a rubbery flavor intermingled with roasted almonds, spices, and minerals. A white wine with muscles, very balanced, you can't feel the high alcohol content, but most importantly a mix of exotic flavors and textures.
An amazing meal (Rhys, SQN, KB, Margaux, Angelus, Ducru, Kalin): This drinks very young still. The nose is slightly waxy with grapefruits. Some buttery notes and a hint of papaya. This has a great backbone of acidity that keep its fresh, yet excellent balance. It is a very big wine but went suprisingly well with the food which included Tempura Mango Salad.
I truly enjoyed this wine. It was my third bottle and it seemed to improve slightly since last time. But I will say, it is not worth the price of admission, sadly enough. So I stick to my original tasting notes from 2010
Wine Flock does Great Whites (My House): Hazelnut, dark edgy yellow fruits, a lush quality to the concentrated aromas, simply packed with a touch of buttered nuts. Lush, sweet, silky creamy texture. Pure pleasure. Long, lush, dense fruit dominated with creamy texture. Big yummy quality. Nice nuances, but a slightly warm long finish is only issue here 95
Wednesday Night Blind - July 2011 (Somers 202): My bottle - Dark yellow color, huge amounts of vanilla laden oak, peach cobbler,lots of butterscotch and melted butter, a creamy but very full texture, fills the mouth. Lush and big, for me the oak was a part of the wine and not a hurdle to get over so I really liked it, others didn't.
elzer cancer socirty dinner. i've had this wine 8-10 times, and this is a good showing, although it's not a classic of the genre in my opinion. white and green melon ball mixed with spicy citrus. seemed in a good place.
Crazy B-day white. Popped and poured. Vivid day bright almost neon yellow. Very intense color in the glass. Aromatics were present but not quite spilling out of the glass as is the case with many of Manfred's whites. A waxy personality, big ripe yellow apples, peaches, cantaloupe, light smoke, white and gray clay, white flowers and massive gobs of honey and vanilla lead to a full attack of ripe fruit on the tongue. Massively structured tropical fruit with hints of yellow crayola crayons, baking spices, brioche and more cantaloupe and slightly dried daffodils. The finish is well furbished, opulent and extremely rich, yet there is sufficient acid to provide an enjoyable back end. A great wine, I was just hoping the intensity of the nose would be more. The finish was solid - really nice, just not a SQN finish. Still delish. This could go for another 5-7 years, but it's beginning to peak now. So glad I was able to enjoy this with some of my closest friends.
Popped and poured into large Bordeaux stems. Golden yellow color. On the nose, tropical fruit, pineapples, a little lemon curd and a hint of a floral scent. Fat and rich on the palate. Stone fruits, lemon zest, and a touch of sweet honey. Very thick and viscous, almost like it has an olive oil emulsion. Very nice. Better at cellar temperature than chilled.
Produced from a blend of Viognier, Roussanne, and 30% Chardonnay from two vineyard sources, Alban and Eleven Confessions, the full bodied wine offers a powerful melange of fresh peach, hot stones, spice, earth and petrol flavors.
Rhone Varietal Tasting (Our House (2033 Brandywine St., Philadelphia)): The chardonnay really ups the ante on this. Adds some real muscle tot eh wine. Darker color. Tropical fruit, salinity and minerals. Dense, lush tropical fruit on the palate. Consistent acidity. Sour apple on the finish. Whereas the previous two wines were more delicate, this was more in your face.
Syrahs and other Rhone varietals (Roberts House): this was really nice and remains one of my favorite sine qua non whites (and not just for the beautiful label!). opens with a honeyed nose that makes you think there might be a little sweetness to this. there is also some stone fruit in the nose. offers a nuanced palate that starts with a soft opening, which crescendos through the midpalate, with flavors of apricot marmalade, honeycomb, and white pepper. medium(+) finish has a buttery roux flavor.
could smell and taste the viognier and roussane components. lychee, exotic and tropical fruits, honeycomb, and touch of butter. very rich, and wonderfully balanced. the nose only got better with time in the glass. this was a fun, complex, and interesting wine, and just a pleasure to drink. down side was an occassional touch of heat on the palate.
This is my forth bottle of this, and it just continues to make me HAPPY! "A blend of 37% Viognier, 33% Roussanne, and 30% Chardonnay; 62% from John Alban’s vineyard and 38% from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard".....huge and rich wine, yet again with ALL Manfred's wines, perfectly balanced. Big and rich tropical, apricot, peach fruit...exotic, smoky hazelnut butter, lemon ginger cookies, honeysuckle florals, hot butter rum spice. I think a big key to the amazement of this wine is the Chard! It adds that exotic smoky cream to it that binds it all together. Why the hell is Manfred and Alban not growing it anymore???? Yes rich, but also has plenty of minerals and citrus acidity to cut it....but still, oily rich....lets not kid ourselves! One of the best domestic white Rhones you can ever have!
took about 20 mins to open up a little. this wine was very complex and had a thick chard feel to it at the front end and then finished with a slight acidic zing. some mineral notes, some citrus tastes. i enjoyed this wine a lot.
an unreasonable showing. disjointed, and clearly misplaced within the context of the other wines. that didn't help, but on it's own merit, and with my previous knowledge of the wine...this is awful. completely lacking in direction and distinction. NR
G6 (Dave): Wierd blend of Chardonnay, Viognier and Roussanne. Bright yellow color. Oily nose of caramel and tropical fruit. Flavors of peach, melon, and honeycomb. Flat bitter finish with some hear. Quite disappointing. Needless to say I haven't been much of a fan of SQN of late.
Winner of the night. Everyone loved this wine. Totally seemless. Other notes are pretty accurate. Lush, concentrated. LONG finish, great stuff. A little expensive. But, its was up to the majority of the hype. Honeysuckle, tropical fruit, a touch of flower. Wonderful.
I loved this wine. Quite different than most anything I have had in terms of whites. This wine WILL improve over time. This was my WOTN, but I don't think it is worth $150 on the secondary market. At least to me. For me this is a $75 bottle of wine. This was also my SQN. I don't get all the hoopla surrounding Mr. K's wines. The Poker Face we had tonight was excellent, but again, no where near worth the hype of the money. I am very glad I tried both of these wines. Quite good, just wish they were more in line price wise. UPDATE: 7/23/2010 - I couldn't get this wine out of my head, it really stuck with me, I broke down for $130 and bought a bottle....I want to taste it again.
Enjoyed in Portofino during Clare's birthday weekend. Excellent showing for this wine, although I didn't take a formal note. It seemed that it was possibly shutting down a little bit, perhaps transitioning to a new stage in the next year or two?
Like all the SQNs I have had, this was a constantly evolving wine. Initially, this started off very dry and tight. After about 1 hour, it had evolved into more of a Spat Riesling. About 2 hours in, it was even more like a Aus Riesling. Veryfun to drink. It took about 30 minutes in the glass before it really started to open up.
One of the great California white wines. This had the most unique mouthfeel for a white . . . just coated the mouth like baby oil, but without the "weight." Tropical fruits and white flowers were the most up front flavors , but still had tons of Rhone-like Roussanne nuances as well. Funny, not a huge fan of SQN Syrahs or their dessert wines, but I really love their Grenache and white blends. They both seem to have that unique combination of power and grace.
tasted blind against the rejuvenators. petition slightly lighter in color. wonderful deep nose of smokey honeysuckle and apple. palate well integrated. waxy pear and apple, floral. finsh well done but a little on the short side. group average 95
One of my least good experiences with an SQN white wine. Took a long time to come around, and in retrospect I would have opened and decanted a couple hours earlier. Showed floral and lemon elements on the nose, but it was very reticent to give much up for the first hour. The palate was similarly not showing much at first, but came on and mirrored the nose, along with some cinnamon hints. Showed zero heat whatsoever, pretty phenomenal considering the 15.8% alcohol. Enjoyable, but not what I have come to expect from Manfred and Elaine. Was definitely not corked, but I wonder if there was some other flaw that prevented it from showing its best? (PE: 90)
What would would happen if you took a perfect White Burg and blended it with a perfect White Rhone? This masterpiece. The wine strikes the perfect combo of acidity, precision, and fragrance that comes from Chard with the "mouthfeel" and flavor from Viognier and Roussanne. Very cerebral wine that was a pleasure to enjoy over the course of a night. Great with cheese plate.
Drank at Lorena's - very spicy upon opening. As I do with Chave Blanc, I decanted this for about an hour. Helped burn off some of that spice and bring more floral tones to the nose and stone fruits to the palate. Seems to be a little more complete than the Hoodoo with a better mid-palate, but not as good as the Rejuvenators. Could be that this wine is getting better as it ages.
Full lush and layered nose has loads of white and topical fruit, honey, floral notes and spice. Palate is choc full of fruit but stays in check with moderate acidity. Alcohol is well contained as well leaving the way for a luscious palate that goes on and on.
Wow--this wine has gotten better and better with each bottle. I think the SQN whites tend to need some time (at least a year or two) before they start to show their best. This showed some rich white and yellow fruit, a bit of lanolin, some nice Christmas spices, and plenty of mouth-coating deliciousness to make it easy to finish the bottle (amongst two people). I just had another bottle a month ago and this was just as good--what a great place for this wine right now.
Wow--this was spectacular. Had at the Quarter Kitchen with, sadly, a crappy main course of hamachi. The wine, however, stole the show. Intense, rich, viscous, and more integrated and balanced than previous bottles. Clearly a wine that needs some age and, based on how it went, some air. I'd guess this wine's best days are in front of it, and I would say that this is my 3rd favorite SQN white after the Rien Ne Va Plus and Hoodoo Man.
terrific nose of tropical fruits and vivid floral. mouthfeel is perfectly round at this time. floral, fruit and spice all intermingled very well. mouthfeel is so lush but not flabby or fat. finish is spot on.
After 3 days in the fridge, the remaining 1/4 btl, served at about 60-65 degrees, is much more interesting. An even more palate coating texture, this is downright voluptuous, in the best sense. This is now more about honeysuckle and some sort of partly muted honeyed floral/fruit/mineral elements that I really can't describe--much more in keeping with white Rhone flavors. I'd love to taste this next to a 10-15 year old Chave. Just a tinge of heat betrays the alcohol level. I like this a lot better now than when I opened it.
Medium gold yellow, with a slight tinge of green. Nose of buttered popcorn and ripe, succurlent pit fruits. Rich, lush and palate coating flavors repeat what was on the nose. I like this but am slightly disappointed. If you served this to me blind, I would guess Kistler Chardonnay--not that this is a bad thing, but I was looking for something different and more distinctive, not to mention the fact that a Kistler at this quality level, while expensive, would be 1/2 the price. The 2004 Rejuvinator is a much more distinctive and exciting wine to my taste.
This wine in 5 years will be incredible, but today it is a bit freaky. This is the massive white wine I have every drank, so over the top with butter, lanolin, and tropical fruits. Almost the consistency of motor oil, it was however delicious. Small sips were good, I could not drink a whole glass. But once some of the heavy viscosity wears down, this will be a fun one to drink
Day old leftovers from ews3 after the Great Grape tasting. The nose is where its at with this wine. Without reading about it beforehand, it was clearly a blend of Viognier and Roussanne. The Chardonnay was less obvious. Honeydew, honey, sugar and floral herbaceous notes on the nose. Very solid nose. Immediately reminded me of the d'Arenberg Hermit Crab on steroids. Good vanilla, lemon and brown sugar backs up the initial notes. A simpler palate. I thought the palate does not bring the goods as I expected after the nose. Everything sort of blends together but there is no further development. I'd like to see a bit more acidity. Good length on the finish.
I thought this was an explosive, in your face, wine. The appearance was a pure yellow color and the aroma was slight floral and slightly sweet. The taste was decently complex and long. A very enjoyable mouthfeel.
Surprise SQN Birthday Dinner (Chicago, IL): Reticent on nose but the palate is anything but with creamy, rich and forward fruit. Very flashy with apricot, tropical fruit, honey and barrel spices. Yum. Long and lifted finish. A little heat pokes out on the back palate as the warmed towards room temp.
Nice nose that seems not as subdued as I wrote last year. The mouth is full and rich and has quite a bitter note to it that, while not offputting, is quite omnipresent. The length is very long, and quite nice. The whole package seems a bit alcoholic, but just a bit. I'd probably like it more if it was easier to drink, without the structure of the alcohol and without 15% of the bitter notes, but I still like it a lot - just not a very lot.
Big Boy tasting (Buzzini House): This one really exploded after warming to room temp....gushing with tropical fruits, smoky hazelnut, ginger cookie, honeysuckle florals galore! Big and rich, yet balanced well with citrus acidity and minerals.....spicy and exotic. The best! Thnks D.
more polished and less bulky than previous bottles, as if the dropping of oak was coordinating the other components into a tighter package. however, this will never be a legendary wine like twisted and bent, or even as good as the sublime isolation.
Rich, opulent, big and complex. Very good at this stage, but will even better with 3 to 5 years of additional aging. This reminded me of a very high end French blend. There is no other wine maker in America who is a better master of blends than Manfred. Memorable and worth the freight.
Medium gold, full rich nose of pears, apples, honeysuckle, smoke, full body, mouthcoating, oily, rich ripe fruit and a hit of oak, long finish with persistent fruit, wouldn't expect this to get any better, but outstanding now
Black Sheep Bistro (Black Sheep Bistro, Tustin, CA): Initially I liked this much better than an earlier go around this year. Bright floral nose followed by concentrated palate with a nice lean finish. Gets more fat and tropical with air taking more in a direction I tend to shy away from with whites. Added some butterscotch with sweetness growing. There is a big audience for this style of wine though.
Sine Qua Non Tasting (Lush): Banana yellow color. Lovely forward yellow fruit nose with great tropical banana notes - knockout nose. Lovely rich sweet yellow fruit on the palate. Very nice - a surprise... 94+ pts.
love this wine with seafood - this time herbed shrimp on piastra on the q. great mouthfeel - just oily enough; just enough petrol. waxy fruit. refreshing finish that lingers for 20 seconds or so without tying up the tastebuds for any longer.
NYC Sine Qua Non Dinner at Eleven Madison Park (New York): This was the second time I have had this with the first being in the middle of a sinus infection so I could not really figure out if I liked it. It was much better this time around and is a good dry white that seemed less acidic than the first time but it was more full bodied and refreshing than I had expected. I could slightly detect the high alcohol and would err on keeping this on cooler side when drinking it (which is how it was served). Tropical fruit, a little butter and a medium finish.
Sine Qua Non Extravaganza (RJ's): I love the nose on this wine, sweet fruit, cooked butter with brown sugar. The palate is an oily viscous texture that coats your palate, very extracted for what are normally refined varietals, this just makes me want more.
I was going to rate this 92? but CT can't accept the "?" -this wine really is a "?"
this is a wine that reallllly needs a chill. The conumdrum is I generally like my whites slightly warmer than freezing cold-this wines needs to be extremely cold.
I put this in the frige post cellar to chill it a bit (cellar is 57), out of the frige I thought it was exceptional-great complexity, substancial weight, great depth. I had plans to serve it to some white burgheads blind. I even decanted it to see how it would open up.
Fast forward 1hr it has been in a decanter on the counter:flabby cloying oak. Really flabby-not much acid to carry it through.
Excellent wine. Rich and lusty, with a multitude of components swirling around. My biggest complaint is that it appears to be a bit confused, and doesn't seem to be completely knit together at this time. Think supermodel with a run in her stockings and her make-up kind of jacked up - she's still hot, but kind of rough around the edges :-) It will be interesting to see how this progresses in the coming years.
i'm relieved to announce that my impression of this tonight far exceeds that of my last taste/ note. the difference was less flab, better acid, more integrated fruit. so, now, i think i'm going to just stay away from these for a while, and see if the wine needs to settle down. the viognier component seemd to dominate this time, but the oily texture of the wine is more in line with my general white SQN sensability. i hope we're not facing wide spread bottle variation.
Sight: Light straw color Nose: Honey; Lychee; Malo butter notes; Oak Taste: High acid, but still excellent; Medium to heavy body Overall: Great wine, but heat/acid a bit out of balance and seems like it needs some additional age and then it should come together! (91 pts.)
taste: big and bright with marmelade, tangerines, vanilla, oil tones, and a whole bunch of heat. The heat is kind of ruining this one
overall: it's big and bold like you'd expect from california, but the heat is just too much. It probably needs some down time to calm down the alcohol, but the alcohol is running a bit wild on this one
15.8% alcohol. last week at the giant SQN tasting, i had this wine for the first time, and i didn't think it was very good. tonight, with nothing else to distract me, it's absolutely terrible. so much oak, you could choke a chipmunk. this is the worst performing young proprietary white i have ever tasted, and it's well on it's way to outlasting the 98 backward and forward as the most undrinkable SQN wine ever. i see other notes below listing this as 95+, and think, huh? the two bottles i have drunk are from two different mailing list sources, of course, one of them being mine. there is almost none of the signature blending expressing itself, it's just a muddled mess. i will have to look up the fruit sources to see how they differ from the 04 the rejuvenators. the run from 01-04 has been outstanding, this brings that to a screeching halt. i'm pretty certain there have been high alcohol content examples before, and this doesn't taste over-ripe anyway. but...that oak! jesus. it will be a miracle if it integrates. i suppose i'll try another in the near future and decant the hell out of it. i've got nothing to lose.
Initial impressions: Nice nose, if a bit subdued for this bottling, though this wine is quite young; very rich and full mouth; impressive, slightly bitter length. This wine seems to be more overtly Roussanne than past bottlings, with much waxy texture that seems pervasive here. The mouth is full of tropical fruit, white and yellow and orange, and is quite pleasant.There are floral elements right there, at the surface if you look, and a nice, chardonnay styled length that echoes with Roussanne.
Admittedly very young, this wine could use a year or two to settle down a bit.
Starts out very Viognier....bone dry peachy alcohol, honeycomb, lemon ginger creme cookies, big honeysuckle florals. BUT....there is a rich creaminess that smooths out the dry Viognier, and adds some vanilla butter and some toasted oak to the party.....then Mr. Smoky Hazelnut shows up, adding an exotic spice character that rocks the party. This wine is all about BALANCE! Wonderful mix of Viognier, Roussanne, and Chardonnay....giving you the best of each Varietal. Just beautiful florals, creamy smoked fruit, dancing citrus acidity, exotic spice.......perfectly balanced! This is a gorgeous wine......reminds me of a blend of Alban Viognier, Kistler Chardonnay, and a little Domaine de la Terre Rouge Roussanne. SUPER STUFF!!!
Dinner with Friends - Vinci (Chicago): Full and forward nose of white fruits, honey and spice. Palate is polished, concentrated and chock-full of delicious, creamy fruits. Tropical and white fruits are made complex with honey and toasty notes. Balancing acidity provides freshness and persistence. Excellent! Drinking so well now - why wait?
Lasher's Offline (Long Beach, CA): What is in this wine? My guess is some Roussanne as well as some Viognier. Unusual and exotic nose of beeswax, straw, honey-glazed ham, and with more air, bubble gum. A viscous and mouth-coating palate of peach, apricots, and hay. Extremely rich and concentrated. A slight touch of heat on the finish. Probably too young to drink right now, as the fruit is just so exuberant, but it certainly has all the components for an interesting and ageable wine. One to sip and contemplate. 91-92 points.