2009 Sine Qua Non "This Is Not an Exit" Sta. Rita Hills Grenache

SKU #1147188 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 More open, upfront and sexy, the 2009 Grenache This is Not an Exit is comprised of 79% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 3% Viognier, and 3% Roussanne that spent 31 months in roughly 35% new French oak. Showing overflowing richness, with notions of incense, spice cake, potpourri, and creamy raspberry fruit, it is a full-bodied, voluptuous, and decadent Grenache geared for drinking over the coming decade or so. Drink now-2023. About as good as it gets across the board, these singular, incredible wines are the result of an obsessive attention to detail at all stages of the wine making process. There is no secret or hidden magic going on here. The incredibly talented and down-to-earth Manfred Krankl simply walks the walk as opposed to only talking about attention to detail or offering up the standard, wine is made in the vineyard comments. Looking at the vintages focused on here, 2009 has produced a decadent, voluptuous style that offers up thrilling levels of fruit as well as an approachable, heady richness that's hard to resist. (JD)  (8/2013)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid ruby. Intense cherry and boysenberry aromas are complicated by notes of cola, violet, candied licorice and smoky spices, plus a hint of vanilla. Packed with dense, alluringly sweet dark berry compote and floral pastille flavors that are energized by zesty minerality and a jolt of white pepper. For its sheer mass this is almost shockingly elegant. Finishes with smooth tannins and excellent, spicy persistence, leaving a juicy dark berry note behind. (JR)  (12/2013)

94 points Vinous

 Next to the 2010 and 2011 reds, the 2009 Grenache This is Not an Exit comes across as a bit heavy. Black cherries, plums, tar, mocha, new leather, licorice and menthol saturate the palate in an intensely overt, full-throttle Grenache. Today, the 2009 is not as expressive as it has been in the past. It may be that the 34% whole clusters still aren't fully assimilated. I have seen the Sine Qua Non Grenaches develop beautifully with time in bottle but today, the 2009 isn't ready to show all of its cards. 94+ (AG)  (7/2012)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Exhibits a complex note of raspberry-mocha tort, with layers of flavors and a range of textures, from fleshy to firm. This is gripping on the finish, where the tannins keeps the flavors intact. Drink now through 2024.  (3/2014)

K&L Notes

From the Eleven Confessions Vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills.

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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. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
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. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.