Sine Qua Non Rose the Pontiff 2008

Winemaker's Notes:

Sine Qua Non’s story is a bit of a fairy tale with an “only in California” backdrop. It goes like this. Manfred Krankl (Austrian-born, like the state’s Governor), was a managing partner at one of Los Angeles’ most fashionable restaurants, La Campanile. The restaurant became famed for its wonderful bread to the extent that people would go there just to buy some bread to take home. hen people started asking where the house wine came from. The answer was: he made it himself. It was in fact in partnership with the Coppo brothers in Piedmont, a blend of Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon and Freisa. Everyone wanted some. It became clear to Manfred and his wife Elaine, whom he had met at La Campanile, that in winemaking they had found something they loved more than restaurant management. They retired from the restaurant and the weekend hobby became the day job, at which Manfred and Elaine directed all their obsessive perfectionism and turned it into the phenomenon it now is. Sine Qua Non have made a big name for themselves in an astonishingly short space of time (their first proper vintage was in 1992). A definition of their house style would have to include words like lush, intense, decadent, rich, and pure. Available in minuscule quantities, the wines are in many ways rather like Manfred himself, flamboyant, intense, and mad bordering on genius. They made what they described as “an itty bitty amount” of this. It is made from 47% Grenache , 31% Syrah, and 22% Roussanne. “As always, this is no simple quaffer, no slouch, no mere summer tooty-fruity. Although technically a rosé, it is really much more like a red wine, quite complex and just very delicious. I very much urge you not to miss out.” Manfred Krankl.

Region: USA » California

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Winery: Sine Qua Non
Color: Rosé
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Sine Qua Non:
  Sine Qua Non is the California cult wine created by Austrian winemaker Manfred Krankl and wife Elaine. These highly in-demand wines, which consistently received near perfect scores from critic Robert Parker, can fetch upwards of $500 a bottle and can only be had through their über exclusive mailing list or via auction. The wines are Rhone style blends in red and white, kept to a... Read more
  Sine Qua Non is the California cult wine created by Austrian winemaker Manfred Krankl and wife Elaine. These highly in-demand wines, which consistently received near perfect scores from critic Robert Parker, can fetch upwards of $500 a bottle and can only be had through their über exclusive mailing list or via auction. The wines are Rhone style blends in red and white, kept to a small production of 3,500 cases a year. The name is Latin for “without which not” or more fittingly to fans, “something that cannot be done without.” The “winery” (not open to the public) is a warehouse in Ventura, California, originally founded during Krankl’s stint as owner of restaurant Campanile, for which the first wines were produced in 1994. The first wines were produced from fruit sourced in various locations in California and other including Oregon, but he now grows most of his own grapes in small vineyards in Ojai Valley and Sta Rita Hills.    One of the unique elements of these wines is that since Krankl believes each vintage tells its own story, the name of the wines change with each vintage, as do the self-designed labels and even bottle shapes. Some of the original wines were Pinot Noir, which he no longer produces, the last one in 2005 called “Over and Out.” Now the wines are predominately Rhone blends, with names such as “Whisperin E” (named for wife Elaine), “Pagan Poetry Rosé,” “Poker Face,” and “Mr. K The Noble Man” (dessert wines produced with Austrian colleague Alois Kracher).  Read less

Sine Qua Non’s story is a bit of a fairy tale with an “only in California” backdrop. It goes like this. Manfred Krankl (Austrian-born, like the state’s Governor), was a managing partner at one of Los Angeles’ most fashionable restaurants, La Campanile. The restaurant became famed for its wonderful bread to the extent that people would go there just to buy some bread to take home. hen people started asking where the house wine came from. The answer was: he made it himself. It was in fact in partnership with the Coppo brothers in Piedmont, a blend of Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon and Freisa. Everyone wanted some. It became clear to Manfred and his wife Elaine, whom he had met at La Campanile, that in winemaking they had found something they loved more than restaurant management. They retired from the restaurant and the weekend hobby became the day job, at which Manfred and Elaine directed all their obsessive perfectionism and turned it into the phenomenon it now is. Sine Qua Non have made a big name for themselves in an astonishingly short space of time (their first proper vintage was in 1992). A definition of their house style would have to include words like lush, intense, decadent, rich, and pure. Available in minuscule quantities, the wines are in many ways rather like Manfred himself, flamboyant, intense, and mad bordering on genius. They made what they described as “an itty bitty amount” of this. It is made from 47% Grenache , 31% Syrah, and 22% Roussanne. “As always, this is no simple quaffer, no slouch, no mere summer tooty-fruity. Although technically a rosé, it is really much more like a red wine, quite complex and just very delicious. I very much urge you not to miss out.” Manfred Krankl.

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