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Sine Qua Non Grenache Dirt Vernacular 2016
100 Points! One of the finest Grenaches to ever pass my lips is the 2016 Grenache Dirt Vernacular and it’s 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvèdre, 7% Touriga Nacional, and the rest Petite Sirah. Reminding me of an old vine Grenache cuvée from the Maurel brothers in Châteauneuf du Pape, it boasts a huge nose of black raspberries, kirsch liqueur, graphite, ground herbs, and pepper. This is one of those wines that offers incredible intensity and depth, yet still just glides over the palate with no sense of heaviness whatsoever. Full-bodied, rich, layered, and pure, it’s a riveting example of Grenache that could come from nowhere else. Drink it any time over the coming 15+ years. - Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com
96 Points! The 2016 Grenache Dirt Vernacular wafts from the glass with heady aromas of kirsch, plums and Griotte cherries that mingle with nuances of sweet spice, rose petals and pepper. It saw 34% new oak (along with 53% used oak and 9% concrete), but it's hardly noticeable—much less so than in some of Sine Qua Non's debut Grenache bottlings. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich and chewy, with tangy acids despite its considerable power and ripeness, with a deep, layered mid-palate and a long, lusty finish. It's an eclectic blend of 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvèdre, 7% Touriga Nacional and 2.5% Petite Sirah that was fermented with 43% whole cluster—whole cluster being largely reserved for the Grenache component. The blend is dominated by estate fruit, but some 9% came from the Krankl's blocks at Bien Nacido Vineyard that are farmed to their specifications. - William Kelley, robertparker.com
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