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2005 Sine Qua Non Syrah The 17th Nail in My Cranium Eleven Confessions Sta. Rita Hills
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97 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2009

($200; includes 3.5% viognier; 38 months in barrels) Glass-staining purple. Hypnotic bouquet of blackberry, boysenberry, black pepper, olive tapenade and smoked meat, with a strong note of potpourri gaining with aeration. Deep, sweet and remarkably pure, offering broad dark berry and cherry compote flavors, with exotic floral and spice notes adding complexity. Becomes chewier on the finish but yields none of its sweet, palate-saturating fruit.

98 Points | Wine Spectator
100 Points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

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About California

It is remarkable that an industry essentially less than a half-century old could capture the attention of the American wine-buying public to the degree that California has. Powerful consumer interest in California wine is driven by two major factors. The more obvious reason is that California's best wines, which come from grapes grown in...

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While the grape is currently grown throughout the world, the most elegant Syrahs still come from the Northern Rhone valley, particularly the appellations of Côte Rôtie, Cornas, and Hermitage. Here, steep, terraced vineyards help produce full-bodied, intense, tannic wines loaded with white pepper and red fruit. In the vineyard, Syrah is largely cooperative- vines are productive, but not overly vigorous. Skins are thick, helping the grape...
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