Sine Qua Non Grenache Raven Series 2006
RP100: The 2006 Grenache Raven Series (92% Grenache and 8% Syrah with 26% whole clusters) was aged in 43% new oak, including both small barrels and demi-muids. It is a slightly smaller production (880 cases) than the 2005 Atlantis Fe 203-2a. The 2006 Raven Series exhibits that chocolate character that very ripe Grenache can sometimes possess, along with black cherry and black currant notes. Full-bodied and seamlessly constructed, it offers hints of graphite, licorice, smoke, and meat. The chocolate component appears to be vintage specific as I have not noticed it in other SQN Grenache offerings. This beauty, a superb success in a challenging vintage, is another example of how intensive, radical work in the vineyard as well as meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and cellar can produce a prodigious wine in a less than stellar year.