2012 Sine Qua Non "The Writing On The Wall" Central Coast Petite Sirah (1.5L) (Previously $4450)

SKU #1206812 97-100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Petite Sirah The Writing on the Wall should be the greatest Petite Sirah to ever come out of California (or the world?). Made from 94% Petite Sirah and 6% Viognier and aged in 80% old hogsheads and 20% in new French oak, it’s bottled only in magnum and will be sold along with the new Sine Qua Non label art book. A massive, full-bodied effort that offers incredible depth and richness without ever seeming heavy or cumbersome, it offers up blockbuster-styled aromas and flavors of blackberry, cassis, crushed rocks, beef blood and licorice. It should age for decades. (JD)  (8/2014)

98 points Vinous

 The 2012 Petite Sirah The Writing on the Wall is beyond beautiful. Wonderfully delineated and nuanced, with none of the edginess or rusticity Petite often shows, The Writing on the Wall is a real stunner. Bold red cherry, pomegranate, spice and sweet floral notes are all underpinned by veins of acidity and tannin that give the wine its freshness and polish. The 2012 is 94% Petite Sirah and 6% Viognier, done with fully destemmed fruit and aged for 23 months in French oak, 20% new. Vineyard sources are 80% Third Twin, 14% Cumulus and 6% Eleven Confessions. Manfred and Elaine Krankl take Petite Sirah into a whole new realm. Unfortunately, The Writing on the Wall is also one of the rarest wines Sine Qua Non has ever made. Just 350 magnums were sold, all of them in the Sine Qua Non art label book box set. That is a real shame, as most readers will never have a chance to experience just how moving the 2012s is. (AG)  (8/2015)

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Petite Sirah

- Once thought to be related to the Rhône's Syrah, it ends up that Petite Sirah is more closely related to the Southern French varietal Durif, which is virtually extinct in France. On the other hand, Petite Sirah thrives in California, where it is prized for its ink-dark color, rich, peppery, black-fruited tannic wine and ability to age. There is even a group passionately devoted to the varietal called PS I Love You. While often bottled varietally, Petite Sirah is also frequently blended with Zinfandel to give that wine structure, and is usually among the varietals planted in the old vine field blends of Northern California. The grape is also grown with some success is South America - Brazil and Argentina, in particular - and in Mexico.

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.


- 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.
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.