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Nov 1, 2012 08:13 PM

What's so special about ' Sine Qua Non'???

Came across this 'cult??' wine at the recent Toronto wine auction. Apart from a website on the internet, none of my wine books even mentioned it, including Hugh Johnson, my trusted wine bible!! Apart from may be a small production quantity, what made this wine so special??

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  1. They are excellent wines and mostly available through actions. If you belong to a collecting group you can split purchase off the list.
    They are very beautifully made wines. The PN's are unique and like other well crafted cult wines, they are amazing agers. I still have a few bottles of next of kyn in my cellar, it is a great wine.
    Basically wines make cult status when they are dependably wonderful and hard to purchase, not unlike other things in life.
    Tonight I had a "lesser" cult wine with dinner, a 2000 spottswoode. Cult wines are special because they are Reliably good when stored correctly, complexity is enhanced with age, balance is maintained for years as is its value if you decide to sell or trade.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sedimental

      i am very fortunate to be on the sqn list for while....and all i can say about sqn is manfred krankl and his wine making! sine qua non is not for everyone specially people who likes old world style of wine....however even they can't denied his wine making. some will say he manipulate the wine to the limit. however, anyone that takes their first sip of wine will say "wow"
      also he names his wine different every vintage along with changes the labels every vintage.....very fun to drink and very cool stuff!

      1. re: rickym13

        Well, don't get off the list or you will never, ever, get back on!

        I have never been on it, but I know several people that didn't want to lose their spot so offered to share cases. I left all the cult wine lists in the early 1990's :)

        I have had several SQN PN's, all outstanding. The last one I had was from Willamette Valley grapes. I don't know what he is using for grapes now.

        The Next of Kyn wine (Syrah) was really hard to come by at release. I traded for it later ( got a number 2 box) and I will likely not purchase any.

        I think the Syrah's he makes really typify his unique style and are worth shelling out the cash for (at least once) if you are into esoteric experiential wine fun. Certainly not a daily drinker!

        1. re: sedimental

          i believe the last pinot sqn came out was 2005 over and out. only red he makes under sqn now are syrah and grenache, i think most of his fruits comes from their eleven confessions vineyard. also makes rhone white blend and some rose.
          just got a post card saying that he made 400 mag of chateauneuf du pape from 2010 vintage.

          1. re: rickym13

            >>> just got a post card saying that he made 400 mag of chateauneuf du pape from 2010 vintage. <<<

            When did he buy land in the Rhône?

    2. Besides producing great wines, they have managed to create a "cult," as you allude.

      I have had several, and all have been excellent. Excellent enough to justify the price? That depends on the drinker, or the bidder.

      For one's personal references, I would suggest tasting some, and then deciding for yourself.


      1. A couple of comments, if I may . . .

        Manfred Krankl makes VERY distinctive wines. They are well-made, produced in very limited quantities, and beloved by many influential writers and consumers alike. They are difficult to obtain under the best of conditions -- sold via mailing list, then (some will be) flipped and sold at auction and/or "traded" to retailers.

        Whether any one individual likes/loves/adores them is, of course, a very personal matter, dependent upon one's own personal palate preferences.

        To generalize, it IS true that fans of wines which are described as "traditional," or "old world" in style are not necessarily enamoured of SQN. (Given a change between -- for example -- a bottle of SQN and a bottle of Hermitage "La Chapelle," I'll choose the latter every time!) But one doesn't need to love the *style* of wine to appreciate the quality of the winemaking.

        As Bill said, "For one's personal references, I would suggest tasting some, and then deciding for yourself." Everyone (who can) should taste it at least once.

        3 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          Tough call. Just had the latter in Paris, and while good, I might not vote the 2005 as a replacement for the SQN 2007, that I had at Blackberry Farm six mos. ago.

          Now, I am a big fan of the "La-La's," but when compared to similar wines, regardless of the Region of Origin, am not sure that they are the "ultimate." However, when drinking, it is all about the level of enjoyment, and what might have come before, or might come later, is not of consequence - it is only about the "here and now."

          Regardless, my "enjoyment factor" was very high with each.


          1. re: Bill Hunt

            And, while the "La-La's" wouldn't be my first choice, again -- I appreciate them and the quality of winemaking.

            Just to clarify ("Let me make one thing perfectly clear"?), a) everything here is a generalization, and there will be specific exceptions to everything; b) in no way have a "slammed" or "dismissed" SQN, but rather I've praised the quality of the wines -- merely said they aren't to *my* personal taste; c) I'm not sure I'd pick the 2005 La Chapelle either, as I don't think it's anywhere ready yet. ;^)

            1. re: zin1953

              And those comments are always welcome! In the end, the appreciation of a wine, by a taster, is about "personal tastes." What I love, might not fill your bill, and vice versa. That does not make either of us "correct," or "incorrect."

              Taster A might love Shafer Hillside Select Vintage ___, where Taster B might not find it to their liking. Such is life.

              A few of the wines, that you have loved, have just not moved me. I know that some of my "favs" have not moved you. I always respect your TN's, and your comments, and never feel obligated to "convince" you, and you have never indicated that you felt any need to convince me. We like, what we like, and pass on the rest... [Grin]

              Just too many Fine Wines, and too many Great Wines, and our lists might differ. Taster C might think that we are both crazy.

              <<I'm not sure I'd pick the 2005 La Chapelle either, as I don't think it's anywhere ready yet. ;^)>>

              I think that you are correct there, but sometimes (when one is away from their own cellar), they have to go with what is available - ready, or not.