San Diego Sine Qua Non Dinner

This past weekend, visited wine drinking friends in San Diego. During our trip, we were fortunate to attend two special dinners. The first was focused around the wines of Sine Qua Non, and the second, a blind California Dinner.

At the time of both dinners, minimum wine tasting notes were taken, however as is so often the case, recollect a few impressions of the wines opened. The following is a summary of the first dinner. All wines were served pop and pour, and sorted in order of personal preference by flight.

Champagne Opener- This was a lovely wine. Having had a 1996 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses, one of the top Champagnes we have tasted, was surprised and excited to see this on the table. It was young, no question, but lovely pear, crisp, and nutty style. Really good structure that will allow this wine to age gracefully for years!

1999 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Brut

Pre Dinner Rose – This was only one of two Sine Qua Non wines tasted to date that was completely disappointing. Have liked other Sine Qua Non Rose in the past, so would not say it was stylistic, but the wine was spritzy, and lacking any sort of character. If I recall correctly, in the bottom two of everyones list.

2007 Sine Qua Non Strips and Stars Rose

White Wine Flight – Preferred the Hoo Doo Man over The Boot. A young wine, the Hoo Doo Man showed tropical fruits and a nice acidity level. The wine should age well and improve over the next several years. In contrast, The Boot was mature, some butterscotch, hazelnut, and buttery texture. Expected it to be past maturity, but actually showed fully mature.

2006 Sine Qua Non Hoo Doo Man
2000 Sine Qua Non The Boot

Pinot Noir Intermission – A very nice intermission after tasting a few interesting white wines. Thought the A Capella Pinot was the 3rd best wine of the evening behind the 17th Nail and Into the Dark. First time having had this wine, was pleasantly surprised. Recall a gritty, earthy, mineral based wine, with a forest floor nose. A really good drinking Pinot.

2000 Sine Qua Non A Capella Pinot Noir

Grenache Flight – The Into the Dark was a beautiful wine, second favorite of the night. Candied boysenberry fruit, beautifully textured, full bodied, one of the top Sine Qua Non Grenache tasted to date. The Raven was consistant to previous bottles tasted. It was similar to the Atlantis, though far more toned down fruit. A good wine.

2004 Sine Qua Non Into the Dark Grenache
2006 Sine Qua Non Raven Grenache

Syrah Flight – The 17th Nail in the Cranium was the wine of the night. A huge concentrated, and quite approachable Syrah. A pleasant mix of blue and black fruits, had a super long finish, and excellent balance. The Raven Syrah was tight and lacked depth next to the 17th Nail. A good drinking wine, no question, but not in the same league.

2005 Sine Qua Non 17th Nail in the Cranium
2006 Sine Qua Non Raven Syrah

Sweet Finish – My least favorite wine of the evening, the Mr K Strawman was a one dimensional thick sweet wine. Probably not fair to open the wine at such a young age, did not show much in the way of complexity and character.

2006 Sine Qua Non Mr K Strawman

Cheers to our San Diego friends and a very fun dinner filled with lots of laughs, great wine, and wonderful food!

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine

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