2008 Sine Qua Non Grenache The Duel


  • USA
  • California
  • Central Coast
Drink between 2014 - 2024 (Edit)
CT95.6 42 reviews
1 of 4

Community Tasting Notes 34

  • Lord of the Bottles Likes this wine: 94 points

    July 19, 2020 - Moderate nose of berries. Palate of intense sweet fruit which moderated into sweatmeat and soil. Short to medium finish. This was decanted for about 45 minutes. IMHO a nice wine but rather one dimensional and not especially memorable as I write this later in the evening. Funny enough this is Grenache but if blind I would have honestly guessed Northern Rhone (in a hot year). After drinking a number of SQN and some NOK I think I prefer the NOK, but to each his (or her!) own.

  • Christoffer78 Likes this wine: 100 points

    April 20, 2019 - This lovely and almost brutally pleasant acquaintance is a blend of 82% Grenache, 14% Syrah and a tiny sprinkle of 4% equal amounts of Viognier and Roussanne. All fruit was sourced from Manfred Krankl's own vineyard "Eleven Confessions". The wine was fermented with 32% whole cluster and aged in 15% new French oak.

    As you can tell, these hard facts make a lot of promise for what is to find once tasting... Perfection. Full stop.

    As with most wines from this star produces, the 2008 The Duel Grenache will raise opinion and feelings no matter who tastes it.

    It is extremely powerful.

    It reveals a profound complexity after some time in the glass.

    It has an elegance that is hard to compete with.

    This effort has spent a long time on oak. Inspired by the "LaLaLa wines" from Guigal, Manfred Krankl produces these exquisite wines only from fruit out of his own Eleven Confessions vineyard. The nose offers up a rich creamy fruit full of deep burgundy velvet boysenberry, strawberry and strawberry. Actually the world's all berries are found in this nose. After about an hour or more in the glass, a complex layer of cacao, sweet licorice, mint, a whiff of Eucalyptus, flowers and saddle leather emerges. After several hours in the glass, the wine is still alive. It never shuts down or become "simple"...

    But do not be mistaken - there is a ton of elegance added to this wine as well. The whole effort is just astonishingly well balanced. There is not a hard edge to be found. Thick deep velvet is the best way to describe the nose.

    The palate actually fits pretty well to this description too. It is massive, but extremely well balanced and integrated. Everything is in place and there are no "oak related" tannins to speak of. There is enough texture and structure to make this effort last for another couple of deacades is a guesstimate based on tasting SQN wines on 59 different occasions since 2009. Perhaps needless to say, the length on the finish just goes on and on with a seamless integration.

    It is very hard for me to find anything that is "better" compared to this wine - from a more objective than subjective point of view. I honestly cannot find one single flaw here. Hence, a perfect score it is.

  • Rosengoo wrote: 96 points

    November 2, 2018 - This was decanted for 45 minutes prior to drinking. The wine was clear and deep red in colour with a nose and flavours of ripe cherries, some strawberries and a hint of chocolate. Both the acidity and tannins were very well balanced and not overly strong. This was a lovely wine tonight.

  • csimm1161 wrote: 96 points

    August 4, 2018 - Sine Qua Non (SQN) Magnum Extravaganza + Bevan, Mike Smith, Sparkling/Champagne, and others (Calistoga): From magnum. Purple/red plum, deep kirsch, raspberry, strawberry, and wild red and black cherry. Some garrigue and underbrush on the finish. Seemingly higher on the acid spectrum, with a formidable grip clenching the sides of the mouth, squeezing the palate before releasing more fruit on the back end. A mild bite on the finish resurfaced on the very tail end.

    This wine was much better after a few hours in the decanter. More seamless and smooth with air. Holding for another year might be prudent, especially if it is in magnum format. The .750s might be optimum at this juncture (not sure). In this case, the acid was apparent, but only somewhat distracting. Otherwise, the pure and intense fruit was very compelling.

  • walkerjfw wrote: 96 points

    October 17, 2017 - At the Acker tasting, great treat to taste a few SQNs. Decanted for a bit prior to the tasting.

    Rich purple color. Powerful nose of dark fruits, blackberry. Palate showing blueberry, bramble, sweet spices, leather, floral notes. Big and expressive and spicy finish...smooth texture. Classic SQNm in a great spot right now.

1 - 5 of 34 More notes

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  • By Jeb Dunnuck
    Issue #14, 12/18/2012 (link)

    (Sine Qua Non Grenache The Duel) Subscribe to see review text.


  • By Josh Raynolds
    November/December 2012, IWC Issue #165 (link)

    (Sine Qua Non Grenache The Duel Sta. Rita Hills) Subscribe to see review text.

  • By Antonio Galloni
    California's Central Coast: Better than Ever (Aug 2012) (link)

    (Sine Qua Non Grenache Estate The Duel Sta. Rita Hills) Subscribe to see review text.

  • By Josh Raynolds
    November/December 2011, IWC Issue #159 (link)

    (Sine Qua Non Grenache The Duel Sta. Rita Hills) Subscribe to see review text.

  • By Antonio Galloni
    Exploring California's Central Coast (Aug 2011) (link)

    (Sine Qua Non Grenache The Duel Sta. Rita Hills) Subscribe to see review text.

Wine Definition

  • Vintage 2008
  • Type Red
  • Producer Sine Qua Non
  • Varietal Grenache
  • Designation The Duel
  • Vineyard n/a
  • Country USA
  • Region California
  • SubRegion Central Coast
  • Appellation Central Coast

Community Holdings

  • Pending Delivery 31 (2%)
  • In Cellars 995 (59%)
  • Consumed 663 (39%)

Food Pairing

No food pairings available.

Who Likes This Wine

100% Like It  13 votes

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