Now this is how to celebrate after a marathon

What better way to celebrate completing another marathon than opening a bottle I’ve got no business opening? I can clearly think of no better way…well maybe but I won’t go there.

A couple years back I picked up a few bottles of Sine Qua Non, one of California’s most sought after wineries. The combination of very low yield and rabid demand has led to a mailing list that is stuffed with those who will cut off their arms or sell their children in order to purchase their allocation. This means that the wait list just to join the mailing list is likely as long as the marathon. Thus, when I had the chance to pick these bottles up at Chelsea Wine Vault (and one on, I had to pounce.

Fast forward 3 years and I finally opened my first bottle, a 2006 Sine Qua Non ‘Raven’ Grenache. Holy hell this was amazing, to the point where I can still vividly recall the experience: rich and sweet base of cedar, blackberry and strawberry give way to meat and coffee notes with a wonderful mineral streak. The finish was exceptionally long…pretty sure I’m still experiencing it. Simply put, I’m not sure I will live to experience another Grenache that’s this perfect.


I know this all sounds a bit dramatic; however considering the wines I’ve had, I’m not one to heap praise where it’s unjustified. In fact, I’ve had many awkward reactions to what some laud as “great wine”. Thus, it’s with heavy scrutiny that this wine has entered my “Top 5”.

My ‘Top 5” Most Memorable Wines…

1a – 2005 Penfolds ‘Grange’, Syrah
1b – 2006 Sine Qua Non ‘Raven’, Grenache
2 – 1982 Leoville Las Cases
3 – 2005 E Guigal ‘Ex Voto’
4 – 1863 Barbieto ‘Bual’, Madeira
5 – 2007 Clos des Papes

Life’s all about experiences…hope you enjoyed hearing abut this one.

Categories: Wine & Spirits

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