2016 Sine Qua Non "Dirt Vernacular" California Grenache (1.5L)

SKU #1419170 100 points Jeb Dunnuck

 I called the 2016 Grenache Dirt Vernacular a perfect wine last year, and it’s still straight-up heavenly stuff that tops out on my scale this year. A blend of 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvèdre, 7% Touriga Nacional, and the rest Petite Sirah, it comes mostly from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills yet also includes fruit from the Third Twin, Cumulus, Bien Nacido, and Molly Aida vineyards. Aged 23 months in 38% new French oak, it offers awesome notes of kirsch liqueur, blackberries, ground pepper, leafy herbs, and graphite as well as a full-bodied, powerful, yet weightless style on the palate. It’s one of those wines that offer incredible intensity and depth, yet stays weightless, seamless, and elegant. It’s a magical wine and one of the greatest Grenache releases to ever come from California.  (10/2018)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The label of the 2016 Dirt Venacular is based on a picture of a stone imbedded in another stone. The wine is composed of 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvèdre, 7% Touriga Nacional and 3.5% Petite Sirah, fermented using 43% whole cluster with the whole cluster mostly used on the Grenache component. The vineyard sources are 42% Eleven Confessions Estate, 25% The Third Twin Estate, 22% Cumulus Estate, 9% Bien Nacido and 2% Molly Aida Estate. It was aged for around 23 months in 38% new French oak, 53% used French oak and 9% concrete. Medium to deep garnet-purple, this Grenache beauty sashays out of the glass with stunning kirsch, black raspberry, stewed tea, red roses, Chinese five spice and redcurrant jelly notes with nuances of wild blueberries and candied violets plus enticing cardamom, chargrill and black pepper undertones. Full-on decadent and full-bodied, the palate is also so vivacious, possessing amazing freshness and velvety/fine-grained tannins, finishing with tons of floral and red fruit layers. Pure hedonism. (LPB)  (6/2019)

98 points Vinous

 Sine Qua Non’s 2016 Grenache The Vernacular is a classic Sine Qua Non wine. Rich, powerful and aromatically deep, the 2016 has so much to offer. A rush of sweet dark cherry, plum, mocha, licorice, lavender and spice builds in an opulent, flamboyant wine that hits all the right notes. Mourvèdre, Touriga Nacional and Petite Sirah add striking sepia tones throughout. This is a stunning showing. (AG)  (9/2019)

K&L Notes

96 points, William Kelley in Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Grenache Dirt Vernacular wafts from the glass with heady aromas of kirsch, plums and Griotte cherries that mingle with nuances of sweet spice, rose petals and pepper. It saw 34% new oak (along with 53% used oak and 9% concrete), but it's hardly noticeable--much less so than in some of Sine Qua Non's debut Grenache bottlings. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich and chewy, with tangy acids despite its considerable power and ripeness, with a deep, layered mid-palate and a long, lusty finish. It's an eclectic blend of 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvèdre, 7% Touriga Nacional and 2.5% Petite Sirah that was fermented with 43% whole cluster--whole cluster being largely reserved for the Grenache component. The blend is dominated by estate fruit, but some 9% came from the Krankl's blocks at Bien Nacido Vineyard that are farmed to their specifications." (08/2018)


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Price: $729.99

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Varietal:

Grenache

- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.