2012 Sine Qua Non "Stein" Central Coast Grenache

SKU #1195969 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Starting with the Grenache release, the 2012 Grenache Stein is a blend of 76% Grenache, 16% Syrah, and 8% Mourvedre, aged in 14% new French oak (15% was in concrete), that comes mostly from the estate's Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, but also includes grapes from the Cumulus, Third Twin (Syrah) and Bien Nacido vineyards. Checking in at 15.7% alcohol, it's no lightweight, yet it has considerable elegance in its sweet blackcurrants, white pepper, licorice, baking spices and hints of violet-like aromas and flavors. Possessing the hallmark purity of the estate, it's full-bodied, concentrated, rich and textured, with sweet tannin barely noticeable on the finish. I don't think it's one of the greatest Grenaches from the estate, yet it's still an incredible effort that will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 15-20 years or more of overall longevity. (JD)  (8/2015)

95-97 points Vinous

 The 2012 Grenache Stein is incredibly refined, silky and pure, with bright red and blue-hued fruits. Today, the flavors are primary, so readers will have to be patient get the full breadth of aromas, flavors and textures. The Stein is a decidedly feminine, gracious Grenache that impresses for its textural beauty and nuance. I imagine it will provide a long and broad drinking window of pure pleasure over the next 15-20 years. This is an absolutely gorgeous wine from Sine Qua Non. The final blend is 76% Grenache, 16% Syrah and 8% Mourvèdre; 53% from Eleven Confessions, 29% from Cumulus, 9% The Third Twin and 9% Bien Nacido. The 2012 was done with 29% whole clusters and will spend around 22 months in French oak (14%) prior to its scheduled bottling this summer. (AG)  (8/2015)

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Price: $299.99
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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.