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The November 2020 Auction: Part 4

Auction # 634 | View Auction Schedule and Details
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Auction Ends: 11/29/2020 6:00:00 PM PST

Lot #1094. Sine Qua Non Syrah Estate Eleven Confessions Vineyard M 2015

Description: Consists of 1 Magnum, 1.5L
Score: 99 WA.
"his is a single-vineyard Syrah-dominant blend coming from the Eleven Confessions Estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. It bears Manfred Krankl’s initial and a provocative self-portrait on the label. The blend is 90.6% Syrah, 4.4% Petite Syrah, 2.6% Grenache and 2.4% Viognier. Forty-three percent was fermented using whole clusters. It was aged for around 38 months in French oak, 66% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Syrah M starts off a little closed, slowly unfurling to show layer upon layer of savory notes: peppered salami, woodsmoke, marmite and black olives, beneath a profound core of preserved plums, blueberry coulis and Chinese five spice with fragrant touches of fenugreek, Sichuan pepper, crushed rocks and mossy bark. Exquisitely textured with firm, rounded tannins, the taut, full-bodied, muscular fruit is laced with seamless freshness, finishing with fantastic persistence. This is a Syrah for the long haul! 913 cases, 228 magnums and 30 double magnums were made. As I’m leaving Sine Qua Non, driving through their bucolic hills, past hay bales and farm buildings, with Cumulus Vineyard green and lush behind me, I can still taste the new releases. In particular, the new 2015 “E” Grenache and “M” Syrah are wines you don’t soon forget. An ironic smile starts to spread across my face. I’m thinking how the blurry image of Manfred on his new bottling of the 2015 Syrah “M” looks a little like Charles Bukowski. On a previous visit to the winery, Elaine told me the story of how she fell in love with Manfred over a copy of Charles Bukowski’s novel, “Post Office," that he had given her when they were first dating. If you have ever read the book, you might be scratching your head as to how someone could be wooed by this. It’s a thinly veiled autobiography in which Bukowski takes on the persona of a pessimistic, bar-crawling, too-intelligent down-and-out that vacillates between his job at the post office, sexual exploits, gambling and, his failsafe, being a drunken bum. Not exactly a love sonnet. You don’t have to be a fan of Bukowski to love the wines of Sine Qua Non, but I like to think of this literary reference as a little window into the soul of the winery. There is unquestionable skill, craftsmanship, genius and, yes, artistry about everything produced here. Yet, there is also something very primal, raw, immediately gratifying and hedonic at the core of each and every wine. And so, Sine Qua Non fans will not be disappointed by these latest releases. "Somebody asked me,” Bukowski once said in an interview, ‘What do you do? How do you write, create?’ You don't, I told them. You don't try. That's very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It's like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks, you make a pet out of it." If you look carefully at the picture of Manfred on the 2015 “M,” you can imagine his arm is stretched above his head, and in his fist, you might just find Bukowski’s bug." Wine Advocate Interim, Jun 2019
Provenance: The Home State Cellar
Lot Location: Orange County
Estimate: $600

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