The 2018 Syrah Ziehharmonika is another absolutely exquisite wine from Elaine and Manfred Krankl. Rich, deep and potent to the core, the 2018 captures a striking mix of lush fruit as well as the energy of the year. All the elements simply fall into place in a magical Syrah that will thrill Sine Qua Non lovers. The 2018 is 82% Syrah, 6.7% Mourvèdre, 5.0% Petite Sirah, 2.3 % Grenache, 2.7% Viognier and 1.3% Muscat. Interestingly, the whole clusters are just 14%, so quite a bit lower than found in the Grenache. Vineyard sites are The Third Twin, Eleven Confessions and Cumulus, all estate ranches.
Score: 96-98 points -- Antonio Galloni, Vinous, 2020
There are few greater success stories in wine than that of Sine Qua Non’s Manfred Krankl. Austrian-born and showing up penniless in Los Angeles in 1980, he went on to create one of the greatest wine estates in the world today by sheer talent and work ethic. Despite being involved in a horrific motorcycle accident in September of 2014, he’s recovering admirably and was in great spirits during my visit.
Looking at his latest releases, the 2011 extended-aged cuvees all show the cooler nature of the vintage, yet had phenomenal levels concentration and firm, tannic spines. I’m not sure they’re a step up over the earlier 2011 releases, but they’re without a doubt some of the top wines in the vintage. The 2012s are big, ripe and voluptuous wines more in the style of 2009s, yet perhaps with slightly less exuberance. The real shocker was the quality of the Next Of Kyn releases. These come all from his estate vineyard located around the winery in Oak View. I was blown away by both the ’11 and ’12, with the ’12 being the greatest wine yet from the estate.