Friday, January 1, 2010

Sweet kisses from Sine-Qua-Non

I adore Sine-Qua-Non, and I admire the hard work and focus for details owner and winemaker Manfred Krankl puts into his handcraft. However, there are some sad things about Sine-Qua-Non. One is that Manfred decided to reduce production of his white wines, to give more focus on his outstanding wines of Grenache and Syrah. The other is that he decided to end his small but highly exciting production of sweet wines. The reason is the death of his friend and partner in sweet wines, the great Alois Kracher of Austria. However, tiny amounts of sweet wines (one or two barrels per year) are still made, but not in a commercial scale – if anything from this ultra cult winery could be considered to be of commercial volumes.

2005 Mr K The Noble Man / 96 p
This is a very late harvest wine made entirely from Chardonnay grapes in Santa Barbara. The juice is fermented in brand new French oak barrels, but alcohol only reached a level of 12.1% in this case. Color is golden, quite deep and brilliant, and the nose is almost overwhelming with the same intensity you normally find in the Aszú Essencia of Tokaj, or high end passito whites from Italy. There is loads of ripe peaches, sundried apricots, sweet tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango, as well as orange blossom honey on the palate, but only a small fragment of the oak. On the palate, it’s full bodied, ripe and intense with a rich sweetness that gives the wine a silky texture and viscosity, and there is just enough acidity to make this compote well balanced. Again, the oak is just there – like a ghost in a haunted castle, and you’ll hardly see it. This is pure nectar. Drink it 2010-2015.

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