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Wine Information

Sine Qua Non

Sine Qua Non is a small winery in the city of Ventura, two hours north of Los Angeles. The winery's name Sine Qua Non is Latin for "absolutely indispensible", or literally "without which not". It was founded in 1994 by Manfred and Elaine Krankl. The winery has risen to be one of the top Syrah producers in USA, and due to the tiny quantities of wine made and the recent 98-100 point scores by Parker, Sine Qua Non is now unquestionably regarded as a "California Cult" wine producer.
The proprietors, the husband-and-wife team of Manfred and Elaine Krankl, are both very involved in the creation of their wines. In the early 1990's Manfred Krankl became interested in backyard winemaking. He used the facilities at the Babcock Winery and produced a small, 200 case lot of Chardonnay with the assistance of winemaker Bryan Babcock. The first wine was named The Thief.
The Krankl's first serious commercial undertaking was a Syrah called Black and Blue, which was produced in 1992 at the Havens winery in Napa. It was followed by an assortment of oddly named wines – Queen of Spades, Red Handed, The Other Hand, The Bride, and more recently Twisted and Bent, Imposter McCoy and Veiled. All the wines have a distinctive, funky label, that are all reproductions of Manfred's artwork.
In 1997 the Krankls got their own winemaking facilities, and their goal now is to own a vineyard and grow grapes, as all their wines up untill now have been produced from purchased grapes. Almost all the grapes have come from the Santa Barbara region, except the Pinot Noir, which groe in Oregon's Willamette Valley.

The wine is made from predominantely Syrah with a dash of Grenache.


Vintage 2004

Early bud break led to one of the earliest harvests in memory

In 2004, bud break occurred earlier than many vintners could remember, and the trend carried forward throughout the growing season. Heat spikes happened in June and at scattered intervals throughout the summer season. Grapes completed veraison early and ripeness with well-developed sugars in all varieties was realized early. Growers held on as acid balance eventually caught up. Temperatures were steady into one of the earliest harvests in Napa Valley. Grape quality was very good with a crop that was smaller than average.




Ventura, California

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