Sine Qua Non The 17th Nail in My Cranium 2005
Sine Qua Non is one of California's most famous wine producers. Based just north of Los Angeles in Ventura County, and with most of its vineyards in Santa Barbara, it eschews the usual image of top California wine as being only from Napa Valley. That is not the only thing eschewed at Sine Qua Non – the exact wine is rarely made more than once, turning the idea of the American icon wine on its head.
The cult winery specializes in Rhône grape varieties, with most of the red wines based on Syrah and Grenache. White wines are typically based on Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier and are also modeled after Rhône wines. While most of Sine Qua Non's vineyards are in Santa Barbara, the home vineyard (and the winery) is in Oak View. Many of the wines are labeled under the more generic California and Central Coast AVAs, rather than the specific AVAs in the vineyards, giving more freedom when it comes to blending.
100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Syrah The 17th Nail In My Cranium, is a blend of 96.5% Syrah and 3.5% Viognier which is aged 38 months prior to bottling. (I always wonder what Marcel Guigal would think of a wine like this which seems to tip its hat in the direction of Cote Rotie and then goes into high gear and clearly says, "I'm just something very different, but thanks for even thinking of that appellation while smelling and tasting me.") Black as a moonless night, the 2005 17th Nail reveals a stunning nose of spring flowers intermixed with creme de cassis, blackberries, charcoal, graphite, and hints of lard and barbecue spices. Dense, with an endless (and I mean endless) finish, remarkable purity, and layer upon layer of flavor, but no sense of heaviness or flabbiness, this prodigious Syrah should evolve for 15 or more years.
98 Wine Spectator
Fantastic spice aromas lead to notes of freshly ground black pepper, beef carpaccio, rich blackberry and roasted coffee, giving this an exotic mix of flavors. Dense, concentrated, structured and tightly focused, striking a balance between the broad array of flavors and the firm tannins. Drink now through 2018. 398 cases made.
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A wine list from Flask published in the early 1970s
Driving down Ventura Blvd in Studio City in the 1960’s has something in common with today, Flask Fine Wine & Whisky- Flask first opened its doors to the public in 1962. Decades later and it still remains a respected fixture in the Los Angeles community.
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