Sine Qua Non -SQN- E Raised 1998 1.5L
The 1998 Syrah E-Raised is great stuff. The blended Syrah comes from different vineyard sources, primarily the Alban Vineyard in San Luis Obispo, and Bien Nacido and Stolpman Vineyards in Santa Barbara. These wines are always amusingly named (Black and Blue, Against the Wall, Imposter McCoy). All the components were tasted, and even the least impressive cuvee was tipping my olfactory and sensual charts at 93 and 94 points, with the finest cuvees ranging up near perfect 97 or 98 point totals. It is black-colored, jammy and super-intense with awesome concentration, terrific, chewy, explosive flavors of blackberries, cherries, and cassis interfused with creosote, pepper, and vanillin. All the cuvees are gorgeously pure, thick, and rich. As they sit in the glass, notes of roasted coffee, licorice, smoke, and barbecue spices emerge, giving them another dimension of complexity. It is hard to make a prediction at this point, given how sensational previous vintages have been, but it would not surprise me to see the 1998 Syrah turn out to be the finest yet from Sine Qua Non.