2005 Sine Qua Non "17th Nail In My Cranium" Sta. Rita Hills Syrah
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Syrah The 17th Nail In My Cranium, a blend of 96.5% Syrah and 3.5% Viognier which is aged 38 months prior to bottling. (I always wonder what Marcel Guigal would think of a wine like this which seems to tip its hat in the direction of Cote Rotie and then goes into high gear and clearly says, "I’m just something very different, but thanks for even thinking of that appellation while smelling and tasting me.") Black as a moonless night, the 2005 17th Nail reveals a stunning nose of spring flowers intermixed with creme de cassis, blackberries, charcoal, graphite, and hints of lard and barbecue spices. Dense, with an endless (and I mean endless) finish, remarkable purity, and layer upon layer of flavor, but no sense of heaviness or flabbiness, this prodigious Syrah should evolve for 15 or more years. (RP, 2009) Tasted again by Jeb Dunnuck in 2013: "I opted to just list my scores for the older releases as I find Bob-s initial write-ups spot on." (JD)
*Collectibles* Fantastic spice aromas lead to notes of fresh ground black pepper, beef carpaccio, rich blackberry and roasted coffee, giving this an exotic mix of flavors. Dense, concentrated, structured and tightly focused, striking a balance between the broad array of flavors and the firm tannins.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Glass-staining purple. Hypnotic bouquet of blackberry, boysenberry, black pepper, olive tapenade and smoked meat, with a strong note of potpourri gaining with aeration. Deep, sweet and remarkably pure, offering broad dark berry and cherry compote flavors, with exotic floral and spice notes adding complexity. Becomes chewier on the finish but yields none of its sweet, palate-saturating fruit.