This morning we are delighted to release, for the first time on general offer, Sine Qua Non’s Extended Barrel Age (EBA) Collector’s Case on release, thanks to our US office working tirelessly to ensure we increase our market share. This year’s release is the 2014, which is possibly the most exciting yet as the non EBAs, which are aged for less time, have already been given a 100 points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown of the Wine Advocate. This score makes it near impossible for her to award the EBA 2014 anything less – they have never once been scored lower.

Two years ago, we observed that the 2012 Sine Qua Non early releases (Stock and Stein) received 97 and 98 Points respectively – on this basis we posited that the 2012 EBAs (Touche and Rattrapante) would possibly receive a double 100 point score, or at least not far off. Collectors who bought on release were then rewarded with an immediate 50% overnight when Jeb Dunnuck of the Wine Advocate indeed announced two perfect scores. In turn, we then posited that the 2013 early releases (Male and Female) both scored 98 points – so the 2013 EBAs (Le Supplement & Jusqu’ a l’os) would be likely to score another double 100 points. These received 100/98+ from Jeb Dunnuck, still up there with some of the best EBAs. As such, this has since risen £700 in 12 months – a 26% rise. Furthermore, Lisa Poretti Brown of the Wine Advocate has taken over Rhone and Sine Qua Non tasting (along with the rest of California) since Jeb Dunnuck’s departure and she scored the 2013 EBAs the expected double 100 Points for WA, so we anticipate this appreciating further. Today’s offer provides the chance to buy the EBA 2014 on release, at a discount, prior to a very likely perfect score. Due to slightly more favourable exchange rates, we are delighted to offer this lower than last year, at the superb price of £2,600 per case of six. This allocation will allow you to acquire it before the price rises, the 2013 already trades at £3,350.

Just to recap on the wine, which is one of the more slightly complex releases to understand, Sine Qua Non make a single varietal Syrah and Grenache, which owner Manfred Krankl gives a new and fairly bizarre name for each vintage – the most recent 2014 (Non EBA) are called Shakti (Grenache) and Piranha Waterdance (Syrah)! Around 18 months after each vintage has released, Krankl re-releases the finest parcels of the same wine under a different name, having benefitted from significant extended barrel ageing (EBA). Think ‘Normale’ vs ‘Riserva’ in Italy. These EBA’s score higher than the ‘Normale’ Syrah and Grenache releases and they attract large vintage premiums. Today marks our first look at the 2014 extended-aged Syrah and Grenache. We won’t know the name until later in the year when they physically release and the scores will be published around October.

Sine Qua Non has a cult following. Even without speculating on the potential 100 point scores this is an extremely strong hold – with the speculation of 100 points it is one of the most exciting releases of the year, as demonstrated in the price comparison table below. This is highly recommended both as one of the most collectable wines in the world but also an investment which shows remarkable short term and long-term price appreciation.

VintageSine Qua Non – EBA Collector’s CasesWine AdvocatePrice
2004Ode to E100/99 Pts£5,000
200517th Nail in my Cranium & Naked Truth97/100 Pts£6,000
2006Shot in Dark & Crosshair100/100 Pts£6,000
2007The Dangerous Birds98/99 Pts£4,000
2009This is not an Exit96/97 Pts£2,600
2010Stockholm Syndrome100/100 Pts£4,250
2011Patine97/98 Pts£2,100
2012Touche & Rattrapante100/100 Pts£3,500
2013Le Supplement & Rattrapante100/100 Pts£3,350
2014SQN EBA Collector’s caseN/A£2,600


Sine Qua Non was created in 1994 by Manfred Krankl, an Austrian émigré, as a hobby. The reception for this wine named ‘Queen of Spades’ was extraordinary and in 1995 he released the ‘Queen of Hearts’, of which only 24 cases were made: a bottle sold in auction in 2014 for $45,000.

The winemaking facility is based in Ventura, close to Santa Barbara, where the grapes are grown. The wines are often compared to Screaming Eagle and Harlan, however, Sine Qua Non focuses on Grenache and Syrah, although Mourvedre, Rousanne and Viognier play a supporting role. Manfred is a Rhone Ranger at heart, focused on creating what he describes as sexy wines which are peerlessly rich, elegant, harmonious and complex. Manfred works with tiny batches, passed through a gravity flow and only starts fermentation with natural yeasts. It is challenging to describe a bottle of Sine Qua Non, it has to be experienced. However, Sine Qua Non is a wine many collectors claim is an essential element in their cellar and the name, which means ‘absolutely necessary’, haughtily suggests just that.

Most wineries focus on a single wine with a single label, to achieve shelf recognition, so people know what to look for. However, Sine Qua Non seldom makes it onto a shelf, few collectors will part with a bottle. Manfred strongly believes that each vintage is completely different and as such each wine should have a unique name.

Sine Qua Non EBA 2014, 6×75 – £2,600 IB

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