2015 Sine Qua Non "Trouver L'Arène" California Syrah

SKU #1347059 100 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The otherworldly 2015 Syrah Trouver l’Arene is made from 80% Syrah, 7% each of Petite Sirah and Mourvèdre, and the balance Viognier and Grenache. As with the Grenache in 2015, it saw some whole clusters in the fermentation and spent 22 months in close to equal parts new and used French oak. Opaque purple-colored and loaded with sensational notes of smoked black fruits, peppery herbs, liquid flowers, exotic spice, and lavender, this insane beauty hits the palate with awesome density and depth, yet stays amazingly light and graceful, with no apparent weight or heaviness. It possesses sweet tannin, incredible purity of fruit, and a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. It’s an incredible effort that reminds me of a great vintage of Guigal’s Côte Rôtie La Mouline (the 2010? It’s not too dissimilar to the 2003 early in its life) with its exotic, floral, gamey character. There have been so many monumental Syrahs from this address it’s difficult to say where this beauty will ultimately end up when it’s at maturity, but my money is on it being in the top handful of Syrahs ever made by Manfred. It’s incredible today (with a decant) but needs 3-5 years and will knock your socks off over the following two decades or more.  (7/2018)

100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Composed of 80.5% Syrah, 7% Petite Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre, 2% Grenache and 3.5% Viognier, all sourced from estate vineyards—37% The Third Twin, 36% Eleven Confessions and 27% Cumulus—the 2015 Syrah Trouver L’Arene was made using 34% whole cluster and has a deep purple-black color with intense cassis, black plums and black cherries scents plus hints of anise, violets, sage and tar, with wafts of savory/smoked meat suggestions. Full-bodied, this voluptuous beauty is seriously singing in the mouth, belting out vibrant red and black fruit flavor layers, all framed by very fine, rounded, ripe tannins and a wonderful freshness, finishing with persistent perfumed fruit and a spring in its step. (LPB)  (9/2017)

94-97 points Vinous

 The brilliant 2015 Syrah Trouver l'Arene is powerful and dense, but also light on its feet for such an intense wine. Inky blue/purplish fruit, wild flowers, mint, spice and lavender all flesh out in the glass, but it is the wine's textural finesse that really elevates it. Rich, opulent and super-expressive, the 2015 has all the elements to develop into a spectacular Syrah. The blend is 80.5% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah, 7% Mourvèdre, 3.5% Viognier and 2% Grenache done with 34% whole clusters. (AG)  (9/2017)

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Price: $299.99
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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.
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.