2006 Sine Qua Non "A Shot in the Dark" Sta. Rita Hills Syrah (Previously 1000)

SKU #1065146 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A Shot in the Dark is composed of 96.5% Syrah and 3.5% Viognier from the 11 Confessions Vineyard in the cool Santa Rita Hills. Performing better from bottle than it did from barrel, this prodigious red exhibits incredibly velvety tannins, a seamless style, and no noticeable oak (which is remarkable given the fact it spent 32 months in barrel). Dense purple to the rim with an extraordinary perfume of blueberry pie, blackberries, soy, Asian spices, and hints of forest floor and charcoal, this is a complex, rich, seamless, well-balanced tour de force in winemaking. A full-bodied, exuberant, unabashedly California Syrah, it will offer stunning drinking over the next 10-15+ years. (RP)  (8/2010)

98 points Wine Spectator

 An amazingly detailed wine, deep, rich and layered, musclebound yet graceful. It's packed with dense, focused, pure mineral, blackberry, toasty oak and roasted coffee flavors that end in a long cascade, veering into chocolate malt ball notes. Awfully tempting now, but sure to reward cellaring. Best from 2012 through 2024.  (3/2011)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky violet. Captivating, varietally expressive nose melds cassis, boysenberry, olive tapenade, cracked pepper, licorice and Indian spices. Suave, velvety and deeply concentrated, with restrained sweetness for a wine with this much power and thrust. Firm acids give the lush dark fruit and floral flavors excellent focus. Finishes chewy, suave and very long, with velour-like tannins and strong mineral character. Really compelling wine that is shockingly approachable now.  (11/2010)

95 points James Suckling

 Smoky and coffee with earth and spices with ripe fruit. Full-bodied, round and meaty. Dried meat and grilled. Pepper and spices. Intense and rich. Very round. A gorgeous wine. Drink now or hold.  (10/2011)

Jancis Robinson

 36 months in new French oak. Interesting nose – exotic, spiced. Peppery. Plenty of alcohol and juiciness, but expressive and impressive nose. Has a smoky, toasted scent to finish, which is controlled and integrated. Pure fruit. 17.5/20 points. (RH)  (3/2012)

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

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. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- 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. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.