Sine Qua Non -SQN- Poker Face & Into the Dark Set 2004 2-Pack OWC 3.0L
More up-front and open-knit, the 2004 In the Dark (Grenache) checks in as a blend of 84% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, 7% Syrah and 1% Viognier that comes mostly from Manfred’s 11 Confessions Vineyard, yet includes small portions from Alban (10%) and Alta Mesa (9%) Vineyard. Reminding me of Clos Saint-Jean’s Sanctus Sanctorum with its incredible bouquet of sweet kirsch, licorice, dried baking spices, graphite and ground pepper, this beauty flows onto the palate with impeccable purity, perfect integration of its fruit, tannin and acidity, and blockbuster length. As is common with this estate’s wine, it’s the purity paired with serious richness that sets it apart. While still youthful and benefiting from a healthy decadence, I think it’s drinking at point and would aim to drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years. It will evolve gracefully for longer, but I see no reason to hold off. Starting off the Syrah-based wines, the 2004 Poker Face (Syrah) is aging beautifully. A blend of 96% Syrah, 2.5% Mourvedre and 1.5% Viognier (from the Eleven Confessions, White Hawk, Alban, Bien Nacido, and Alta Mesa vineyards) that was aged in 80% new French oak, it offers up a perfumed, fresh bouquet of sweet blackberry liqueur, creme de cassis, spring flowers and licorice that gives way to a full-bodied, seamless, gorgeously textured feel on the palate. Rich and decadent, it has notable, yet beautifully integrated acidity and stays remarkably fresh, detailed and even elegant. It still needs a lengthy decant to shine, and will continue to thrill over the coming decade or so.