2011 Sine Qua Non "Dark Blossom" California Syrah

SKU #1155581 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Syrah Dark Blossom showed even better from bottle than barrel. A blend of 84% Syrah, 8% Grenache, 4% Petite Sirah and the rest Roussanne and Petite Manseng, this beauty was fermented with 17% whole clusters and aged in equal parts new and used French oak. One of the shining successes in the vintage, it’s a full-bodied, concentrated and layered Syrah that has awesome aromatics of blackcurrants, Peking duck, pepper, licorice and charcuterie in its seamless, thrillingly pure profile. As with Manfred’s other 2011s, the tannins are certainly present, yet they’re sweet, polished and have no hard edges. Give this beauty 2-3 years in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2031. (JD)  (8/2014)

96 points Vinous

 The 2011 Syrah Dark Blossom is dark, mysterious and wonderfully inviting. Black fruit, savory herbs, leather and spice meld together in a deep, dense wine that is constantly changing in the glass. Savory overtones add intrigue. The firm, muscular 2011 tannins are going to need time to soften. Readers lucky enough to find the 2011 can look forward to years of thrilling drinking. (AG)  (7/2014)

94-95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque purple. Deep, lush and pungent on the nose, with powerful scents of cassis, boysenberry, singed plum and violet. Then smooth and sweet on the palate, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors and a hint of vanilla, with lively acidity adding lift and focus. Finishes lush, concentrated and extremely long, with lingering flavors of boysenberry and blackberry liqueur. There's 50% new French oak here but it's well-hidden underneath the wine's powerful fruit. (JR)  (11/2013)

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- 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.
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.
Alcohol Content (%): 15.5