2014 Sine Qua Non "Testa dei Cherubini" Sta. Rita Hills Grenache (1.5L)

SKU #1431694 99 points Jeb Dunnuck

 As with the extended aged Syrah release, the 2014 Grenache Testa Dei Cherubini (80% Grenache, 15.5% Syrah, and the rest Petite Sirah and Viognier) comes all from the estate Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and spent just under 38 months in 25% new French oak, with the balance in neutral barrels (varying sizes). Layers of black raspberry, cassis, white chocolate, white flowers, and Asian spices flow to a full-bodied, supple, powerful Grenache that has silky, silky tannins, a seamless texture, no hard edges, and a finish that won’t quit. It’s already approachable, yet in my experience, this extended élevage results in a very stable wine, and I suspect this beauty will have another two decades of longevity.  (10/2018)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Grenache Testa dei Cherubini saw fully 37.5 months in wood, some 25% new, but its influence is imperceptible; the wine is strikingly pure and vibrant. Krankl commented that the longer the wines spend in barrel, the more slowly they seem to evolve in bottle. Unfurling in the glass with aromas of juicy red cherries, peonies and plums, it's initially quite reserved, becoming more expressive with air. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, layered and very concentrated, with strikingly fine-grained, revolved tannins, juicy acids and impressive length and depth. Like the 2015 Le Chemin Vers l'Hérésie also reviewed in this report, it's remarkably pure and integrated and ranks as one of the finest Grenache bottlings I've tasted from Sine Qua Non. It's also one wine that will clearly benefit from bottle age, no matter how tempting it may be when it's released in November of this year. (WK) 98+  (8/2018)

98 points Vinous

 The 2014 Grenache Testa dei Cherubini, from Sine Qua Non's Eleven Confessions vineyard, is positively explosive on the palate. Even so, the 2014 is precise and beautifully delineated, with striking nuance and terrific freshness to balance things out. (AG)  (9/2018)


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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.