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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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+
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pristine cork and fill. Dark purple core, minimal lightening at rim. Intense forward nose of cherries, dark berries, tar and spice. Full body, smooth palate coating ripe fruit, tar and spice, reasonable acidity, moderate tannins, all well-integrated, fruit and tannins joust for superiority through the long finish. Not for the intensity adverse, a great wine to sip on its own or paired with intensely flavored beef or lamb. Outstanding to extraordinary.
opened and slow ox'd for 8 hrs. recorked and took to dinner. decanted and drank over another 2 hrs. all i have to say is :) :) :) I am not worthy to describe all that goes on in this wine. no heat and smooooooth.
About as different as one could come up with from the 1989 Beaucastel, but almost as pleasing. This is big done right, which Krankl seems to have mastered. Could give you the blah blah blah about perfect balance, etc. but one just knows it when they taste it, everything is right, harmony is achieved and a smile crosses your face. While not transcendental, certainly a good case for the joys of hedonism.
Decanted for at least 3 hours. Cork was almost entirely soaked through (same with 05 SQN Atlantis Syrah) but came out clean. Deep medium ruby tint that coats the glass. Vegetal nose with hints of lavender, coffee grinds and olive. Silky smooth taste of olive brine, spice, grilled meat, blackberry jam, pepper, and creamy oak. Extremely thick texture with 30 second finish. A little bit of manageable heat. Had with grilled skirt steak and balsamic marinated portobello mushrooms.
See more detail at http://maximumsatisfaction.tumblr.com/post/39280190942
2006 Raven SQN - excellent wine that had significant amount of pepper, spiciness, grilled meat, loads of black cherry. This was a very well balanced wine, and was drinking well. A standout of the evening. 97pts
Von der Raven Serie des Jahres 2006 gibt es Grenache und Syrahweine. Bei uns im Glas war Syrah Nr.5. Auch wenn er einen Tick kleiner war als der En Cerise von Cayuse, so hatten wir unzweifelhaft einen ganz großen Wein im Glas. Dieser dick bepackte Stoff ist etherisch, dicht, extraktsüß, sehr schwarz in der Frucht, unsponnen von feinen Hozaromen; Speck und auch ein Touch Schokolade und Menthol. Trotz der Dichte und der 15,5% Alkohol eine frischer, kühler Einruck am Gaumen. Männlich-kräftig gebaut, hinten heraus eine Spur schwarzer Pfeffer. Trotz aller Dichte und Extraktion, besitzt dieser saftige Bursche extrem feinkörnige Tannine, einen polierten Charme, Esprit und durchaus Eleganz. Leider eine Einzelflasche!!
Aerated with Vinturi and decanted for 1.5 hours. A beautiful nose of raspberry, blackberry, spice, vanilla, and tobacco. An amazing mid-palate with waves and waves of jammy berry fruit and soft fine tannins. Leads to a very long, velvety, rich finish. Full bodied with outstanding balance and depth. A great wine. Paired with beef tenderloin and a mushroom sauce.
We drank this one after approximately 45 minutes of decanting and I think it suffered (in the beginning) from this. Although the wine still had an amazing deep colour and a great nose to it, it was slightly hot to taste with a slightly overbearing spiciness to it. I was almost wondering if I pulled a Raven syrah by mistake. The wine did settle down after another 30 minutes and it became another wonderful example of other SQN Ravens that I have had and I did notice strong flavours of berries and caramel. In the future, I suggest an at least a 2 to 3 hour decant on this to get full enjoyment out of it.
Compared to 2005 Atlantis Grenache tasted alongside, the 2006 Raven Grenache is more dense and slightly more closed. Still the nose is amazing and fully packed with all the classy components so often found in these high quality efforts. Tonight I feel a strong scent of yew, quite interesting. The wine is a true pleasure to drink, but will continue to age gracefully.
Quite dark in color. Decanted for 1.5 hours. Nose of sweet dark fruit, oak and a little spice. Palate was similar but more simple than I was expecting. Finish had low-moderate acidity and low tannins -- also not super long. Not a bad wine by any means but just not that expressive or unique, esp for a wine with this pedigree and price. Note: bought this at a charity auction so no idea of its provenance.
slow ox'd for 4 hours, then consumed over 5. i don't know how krankl gets so much extraction out of his grenache, because this was so densely colored. initially there was a lot of funk on the nose when i popped it, but this blew off by the time we started in on it. the wine gave up massively sweet, liqueur-like raspberries and cherries. the oak was really well-integrated. in the mouth this was a little one-dimensional, which was not what i was expecting based on prior sqn experience. it was still delicious, but not as mind-blowingly complex. the finish was long and deeply-fruited.
in retrospect, i a) should have decanted this wine for 3-5 hours, and b) should have waited to open it for another 2-3 years. i loved it, but i think i loved it because i paid $300 for it and really wanted to love it. if scoring, 91-93.
A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah produced a wine packed with licorice, vanilla, ripe cherries, black raspberry, earth, spice, coffee bean and blueberries. Round, plush, open and packed with layers of sweet, ripe, jammy berries, spice and earth, the wine is already showing well. Popped and poured, the wine improved in the glass. This is already drinking well. If you have a bottle, there is no reason to wait.
Rhone dinner (semi blind) (Amsterdam Dufay): Deep dark red colour. Cake, licorice, ripe cherry and pepper in the nose. Nice balance on the palate but heavy wine, nearly liquor. Compote, jammy fruits, trifle/ bread and butter pudding notes. Excellent wine, very pure, but too heavy for me.
Popped and poured at home and drank over the course of 2 hours. It's always a treat to have one of these and as usual, this one didn't disappoint. Lots of blueberry on the nose with mid colouring. Quite a lot of strawberry jam in the glass with nicely balanced acidity. Not overly strong on the alcohol levels. This was a great start to the holidays and was followed by a 2005 Mr. K Noble Man.
Beautiful wine with beautiful soft dark fruits, sweet spices, chocolate, a lot of refinement and a beautiful balance between sweetness and acidity. A great and complex beauty. Imho many Syrah wines of SQN have a lot of elegance, but this Grenache wins it on that point. Beautiful wine now and a good future.
An evening with Sine Qua Non (Restaurant Bottles, Sas van Gent): (Raven #1) Hummm. Maybe there is hope... Liked this example of Grenache a lot better than the Pictures. Darker, smokier, more complex. More spice and bite. Maybe more Syrah in the blend? Or is it just the extra year of bottle time? Big and bold, sure. But lively acidity and burgeoning complexity make sure that this is also interesting for me. Good stuff. 18/20
Crème de Cassis, black fruit and plum notes with a rich velvety mouth. You could barely tell this was a grenache—it was almost syrah-like. Super long finish with great balance. Very high alcohol content but it was amazingly well integrated with absolutely no signs of it. Easily the best grenache I've had to date.
Slow-O 3 hours, decanted for sediment (virtually none) and returned to bottle, serving at cellar temp. My first experience with this wine and my overall takeaway is that it's very nice, very pure, but not worth the hype or money, IMHO. This gains a bit of weight and complexity with airtime, but never goes out of bounds. Considering the alcohol (16%, IIRC), this comes across as balanced, if such a thing is possible. There is nothing cloying or overly ripe here, which is odd given my preference for old world wines. It's on the lighter side of full-bodied, to be sure. While everyone seemed to enjoy this, there was one at the party that said it was one of the best she'd ever had...maybe the best. For me, not even close. Different strokes, I suppose. Drink thru 2016, B+/A-
Popped and poured. Dark garnet/purple color. Nose of blackberry, bing cherries, asphalt and some dried herbs. Full bodied and concentrated without any heaviness. Very smooth and polished. Palate of blackberry, bright cherry, licorice, and spices. Long finish with bright cherry fruit, some oak notes and black licorice.
Very good, but not up to the quality of the extended aged Grenache. Ready to go.
This continues to improve. I have a strong bias for Chateauneuf-du-Pape when it comes to Grenache, but this is a beautiful wine. When first opened it had some of the overripe, grilled plum elements that tend to turn me off, bit with air it quickly settled and moved into more of a cherry and white pepper direction. Fresh, red-fruited, bright, with nice acidity. So delicious I considered popping a second bottle as the first ran dry...
Spectacular wine, best grenache I've ever had (not that I've had all that many). At a BYOB, drunk after decanting for 15 minutes. An explosion of red fruits, very smooth, long finish. Maybe it should have scored higher except that we concurrently drank a Robert Foley '04 Claret, an outstanding exemplar of Cab S, and there's a reason that grenache is the lesser cultivated grape -- it's simply less structured and complex than Cab S, even at its best. But the three of us loved the SQN.
Krankl's art in the craft of winemaking continues to amaze. Expected motor oil, got ambrosia. This was a Grenache that was rich, yet refined; explosive, yet subtle; extracted, yet balanced and structured. I'll let the other descriptive comments suffice, they're all right. Paired at a meal with Buffalo filet, lamb Provencal, and roast duck. All were perfect. A versatile and memorable effort.
My first SQN grenache. Decanted for and hour, drank over the next two at Ellerbe's. Seemed dark for a grenache, with less funk and earth than its European counterparts. Didn't have the dense richness of the Raven syrah, but it was like drinking liquid silk with a finish that lasted at least 30 seconds. Matched well with steak and redfish, surprisingly, but was best just on its own or with the garlic and rosemary potatoes.
It had a lot of dark fruit and cherry on the nose. It wasn't tannic at all so that made it really difficult to pinpoint what it was. The wine had some nice flavors of cherry and blueberry, which seemed very Zin like to me. The finish wasn't as long as the first wine though, which my friend was quick to point out. Based on the jammy fruit I thought the wine was excellent but my friend influenced me from what he said about the finish. This did improve as the night went on though. Started off as a 91....improved to a 94.
This is a monster of a wine, simply huge. Black, massive nose of black fruit and spicy oak, perhaps some pepper and meaty notes lurking under the surface. Enjoyable, and impressive for coming together on the palate for how large it is (no heat, good acidity), but it needs to settle down and say something about itself..right now it is just a big wine like many, could have been from anywhere.
I mean, come on. This is simply special juice that is made in such a unique way by such a unique guy that there really is no comparison to SQN. It stands alone. Decanted for 30 mins before the first taste. A little funky on the nose at the open but after the 1/2 hour it was showing a beautiful bouquet of spice, chocolate, cherry, blackberry and pepper. As always, smooth and absolutely no hard edges. Complex and integrated. This is special winemaking; its unique and one-of-a-kind. These fabulous treasures that E+M craft are to be obtained at any reasonable price. For any Rhone fan this is by far the finest US expression of the region and for all wine lovers this is winemaking at its best.
Drank at a restaurant. This bottle was opened and decanted for approximately 30 minutes. Tonight this wine was better than ever with strong notes of vanilla and some honey. There was no lingering alcohol to the taste and the wine had a wonderful balance to it. If that is what happens to it after 30 minutes, I'm curious to see how it develops after a couple of hours.
Decanted for 2 hours. Like all of the SQN's I've had, this had an amazing, complex nose - blackberry, cherry and chocolate. Still has firm tannins on the palate. Very well-made with great mouthfeel and finish. I'd recommend holding this one for a bit.
Decanted one hour. Seamless smooth and plush, this is all rounded edges. A big wine, but it seems fairly well balanced. Probably not the best food wine, and I'm not sure how much underlying structure there is for long term aging. Nevertheless, a terrific wine- true hedonism.
Tasted right out of the gate. Was tight and somewhat muted. Had planned all along to decant this for a few hours. Did just that and decanted it for just over 4 hours. This is amazing! Not like any other grape/varietal. Completely enjoyable from start to finish, which does linger. Certainly does not disapoint. 97+
Mattias' Send Off: Black in color. Blackberry and cherry. Extremely full bodied to a point of almost being over the top. Good freshness and acidity. Fruit forward finish with power to spare. This wine has no soul or sense of place. Nonetheless one of the better Sine Qua Non wines I've had in a while. 15.5% alcohol.
Sine Qua Non Dinner: the Younger Wines (Custom House Tavern - Chicago IL): Aromas of blackberry and blueberry, super primary, with some rose and violet in deep background. Powerful bursts of same primary fruit on palate, but already in balance and starting to show interesting nuance and energy behind the massive fruit. Really interesting spice comes through on finish, which I think is from some use of whole cluster, and will most likely continue to add spice and complexity with more time in bottle.
i know but i just can't keep my hands off. brought to a southern rhone tasting as a rhone ranger ringer. of the nine tasters, two picked australia, two picked france and four picked cali. i knew. decanted four hours. aroma jumps from the glass. big rich and bold but beautifully balanced. no heat. chocolate, dark fruit, pepper and wood all on the nose. palate hits with a big lushness. tongue really likes this. the mid palate is full and smothering with a velvety layer of peppered chocolate and lush perfectly ripe berries. the wood is there but in the background. didnt want to swallow; just wanted this to lay on my tongue and palate. finish is smooth all the way thru and lingers with the best of them.
opened for 2-3 hours before we drank it over another 2-3. on opening a nose of dark chocolate. when we drank it the nose was just a hint of chocolate, fruit, earth and smoke. on the palate jammy fruit, pepper, chocolate, and i thought a little bit of earth with a finish that just hung around for a long time. the only possible flaw i could find was a touch of heat just before the finish, but it barely bothered me and went away fast. this wine was just awesome... it was powerful but had a reserved finesse. it will be hard to not drink another bottle right away.
Opened a second bottle of this last night with grilled pork shoulder. While it paired wonderfully with the meat (including a fantastic lemon, lime, and epazote sauce), this bottle wasn't nearly as spectacular as the first (rated that 96+). Still red-fruit dominated, very smooth, and admirable depth, but I didn't get as much aromatic fireworks or complexity, and the finish was notably shorter than the first bottle. I'd still call it 'outstanding'; just not as 'wow' as the first. Withholding a score, due to less-than-ideal decanting and my belief that this was a slightly 'off' bottle. The '05 Atlantis fe Grenache remains my favorite SQN Grenache from the regular, non-extended aging series.
Tastes from Hezi's dinner at Ria (Ria Restaurant - Elysian Hotel, Chicago): Taste from Hezi's dinner at Ria. Deep rich dark crimson red color. Nice prune aromas coupled with dark purple fruit, carmalized brown sugar, and tarry Band-Aid. Cinnamon, molasses and some light beefy aromas. Palate is rich and high in glycerin. Sappy raisinated fruit with the same burnt caramel brown sugar play. Really well made and deliciously complete wine. Very nice.
This was another wonderful SQN bottle. Slightly lighter than I recall from past bottles on the berry flavours but my taste buds might have been thrown off from the previous bottle of Raven syrah. I didn't take notes on this bottle but really enjoyed it's overall balance. I am a big fan of grenache and Sine Qua Non does it very well.
I last had this wine on July 4th last year, and while I enjoyed it then I was not deeply impressed. However this bottle was a step up. A nice nose of gingerbread and plums moves to a peppery, spicy and stunningly PLUSH and SILKY palate. Texturally this wine is incredible, hedonistic, a sweet core, yet not over the top. There is also a satisfying savory element on the finish that adds some intrigue. Dusty tannins show this has plenty of time ahead and structure to resolve.
Tasted double blind, I found this very ripe, with a bit of spice. Had an airy alcoholic feel to the nose. Guessed this was a Rhone varietal CA wine... wrote "not crazy about this". Guessed Turley zin, 2002-2007.
As with the Marcassin, felt bad that I didn't dig the wine so much given how generous a donation this was, but glad I got to assess it without being influenced by the fame of the brand. With a few hours of air, after the reveal, this did improve a lot and was quite good by the end of the night (but not extraordinary or beyond other high quality CA Rhone wines I've had).
an expression of pure grenache in my opinion. big, lush, jammy and bold. yet sexy and laser clean as well. a true dichotomy. full of fruit and spice on the nose and palate. huge mouth feel but no heat, just a sweet lushness that blankets the palate. the finish lingers for seemingly ever.
audouzed, decanted, venturied, quadruple decanted and put back in the cellar with the cork in place over night. i did everything but call in a shamen to get this wine to do something...anything that i could find worthy of recommending. fail. i just couldn't coax it into a level of even my last tasting, which i consider (despite the decent score) to be lousy, because i hold SQN to a different standard. this wine was merely an unfocused blob. still, better than most, but i'm afreaid i'm giving this the benefit of the producer doubt. double blind, i'd probably ream this a new butt hole for oak and alcohol.
Good but nothing to get excited about. This lacked the wow factor of other SQN wines. Seems that 06 is a off vintage as the Syrah wasn't anything special either. Too bad this is no Into the Dark. Where are all these huge scores coming from?? No finish. Flat mid palate. This was handily beaten by a $16 2007 Cotes du Rhone in a side-by-side tasting.
Tasted single blind with Saxum Rocket Block '05 and Autard Cuvee Juline '07. Tough between the 3 to pick a favorite. SQN certainly did not blow away the other 2. Ripe and rich, opened for about 5 hours prior to tasting. Fruit forward with spice elements and nice mouth-feel. A touch of heat on the finish. A good wine but somewhat underwhelming. Pehaps a result of high expectations.
Intriguing nose. Very "new world". The aromas very shouting: "SUN!!!". Very nice red berry profile and jam-like without a lot of freshness. This has a nice mint-quality as well. On the palate this is very full-bodied and complex, but (surprisingly) it's not hot like e.g. an Australian "fruit bomb". Truck loads of fruit with an amazing depth and length. Very hedonistic and a lot of fun to drink. Although this might have some potential, it is ready to enjoy now. 95-96 P.
My first SQN grenache. These wines are so freakin' superconcentrated. Massive core of dark fruit. Really big wine. I think it needs a couple years to settle down its alcohol which was hot on the finish. 92pts now but with the potential to get to 95pts.
Dark purple/black, no lightening at rim. Intense rich ripe sweet black fruits and cherries on nose with some pepper/spice notes, full-bodied, lush layered fruit, low acid but not flabby, long finish, great drinking on its own before dinner but not a great match for some of the food that night, outstanding unless you don't like the style.
After 20 minutes or so, the nose has become expansive, rich, and very SQN-like. I will confess that the palate, so far, is pretty tight, and that this could almost pass for Syrah. Unlike the '05 vintage, I think I'd give the nod to the '06 Syrahs at this point, but this is still phenomenal in its vigor and exuberance. The tannins are pretty noticeable, but the fruit is packed and stacked and incredibly vibrant.
Grenache Smackdown (Wally's, Arlington Heights): nose: big, bold, and rich nose filled with black pepper, herbs, black cherries galore, slight bits of roasted meats, all sorts of black fruits, and tones of thistles. Very perfumed and bold, but not over extracted. Very new world, but with an eye towards the old world too and loads of depth on the nose too
taste: a beautifully seamless medium feel that glides across the palate with polished and silky tones of herbs, black cherries, black fruits, dark red fruits, and hints of roasted meats. Wonderful depth that is just beautiful and heady at the same time
overall: a beautiful and polished grenache. For me this really stuck out in a pretty big pack. Loads of quality and polish, this is just so juicy and delicious that one would be very hard not to pop it now. Certainly showed off its prestige and easily lived up to it
At Restaurant Sturehof in Stockholm as guest of Fredrik R. It was decanted before closing the previous night. It was the best US Grenache I've ever had, although I did think it was a Syrah. It was much darker and "serious" than most other Grenache. I also thought it was older than 05 but that must have been because of the 18 hour decanting. Very impressive!
P&P'd. 1st small portion didn't give up much, though you could see, taste & feel this is special. By end of bottle in <30 min with friends it was just starting to open up. Alcohol was hidden, sweet red fruits (raspberry) emerged. Not as huge as SQN's Syrahs, more feminine. Drank too fast with too many people, though everyone loved it. Next time decant for a few hours or more cellar time.
15.5% alcohol. decanted. #9 for those into that junk. i've become a modestly vocal critic of the atlantis and raven series, so much so, that i emailed manfred to talk about it. per usual, his replies were candid and interesting, talking about vintage challenges, and whole stem inclusion. i've read thru current reviews in the wine blogosphere, and i seem to run against the grain, e.g. i prefer the grenaches over the syrahs in 05/06. the critical difference for me is that the grenache swallows the alcohol and heat more effectively; the tannins are present, but not dominant, and the oak is more effectively ameliorated. that being said, oak, tannin, alcohol still are racheted up too high for me in this wine, but, boy, is there a ton of beautiful red fruit, and a long, chewy finish. nevertheless, i just don't see this wine ever hitting the heights of the grenache run of 2000-2003
Beautiful. Sweet fruit. Lovely Grenache taste. Smooth. Did not want to put down. Only drinkable San I've tried yet. Syrah was all alchohol, this had alchohol but less overpowering so the sweet fruit complexity shown through. Sad when bottle was empty.
Funny. I 'tweeted' when I consumed this, and three comments came back immediately from others that they preferred the Syrah to the Grenache. Sheesh, let me make up my own mind... They are quite right thought. This Grenache is lovely, beguiling, silky, roasted plums, nice spice, sappy, mouthfilling, yet not too heavy. A little salty on the finish. However, in a word it is 'yummy' whereas the Syrah is 'serious', not even in the same league with each other.
Not a 100 pt wine, IMO, but an extremely good one nonetheless. Still needs time to come together to be even better. Slightly reductive nose transforms itself into ground black pepper and raspberry jam. Well structured.
At first this wasn't giving too much. Decanted and after a couple of hours it really opened up into something nice. Silky mouthfeel. A good, complex mix of red and black fruit (leaning more towards black though). Also some smoke and meatiness that I often find in Syrah. Long finish.
This was my first SQN Grenache and the best Grenache I've had to date. I think this particular wine needs some time - I'll wait a bit to open another one of these. If you're going to drink now I'd be sure to decant for a couple of hours. Tough to score at this stage for me, but 94-96 pts.
This bottle was damned near close to perfection and in my Top Three SQN grenaches holding company with the Inaugural and the Ode To E. Amazing juice! Started off with a huge, classic grenache nose but a bit thin in the mid palate and on the finish. After about an hour, the fruit lushed out and gained substantial weight. Not as big as the Atlantis but more refined and almost feminine by SQN standards. I would advise a 1-2 hour decant at this stage. Simply stunning.