Sine Qua Non SUBIR Eleven Confessions Estate Syrah "Subir" 2016
Meaning "Rise" in Spanish, the 2016 Syrah SUBIR is the estate release that's all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills. It's 89.7% Syrah with the rest Grenache, Petite Sirah, and Viognier that was 56% destemmed and spent a full 38 months in 82% new French oak. There are few wines that can spend close to four years in barrel and still emerge with freshness and purity, yet this estate seems to produce wines that do it with ease. Sporting a deep purple hue as well as a heavenly array of crème de cassis, white chocolate, blackberries, unsmoked tobacco, and peppery spice, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a layered, seamless texture, incredible depth of fruit, and that rare mix of power and elegance that's that hallmark of truly great wines. This was a great vintage for the Central Coast, and this is a true gem of a wine that tops out on my scale. While it's going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age, it offers incredible pleasure today as well. It will have 20+ years of longevity.
he 2016 Syrah SUBIR (meaning to rise or go up) is a single-vineyard wine—a barrel selection from the Eleven Confessions estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. "This vineyard is by far our coolest," Manfred said. "Sometimes we don’t harvest this vineyard until November. The wines from here have a lot of structure and presence. The soil is a heavy clay, so the wines can be pretty muscular." I asked Manfred what he considers when he is looking to make a single-vineyard expression. "I pick out the wines that can have longer barrel aging," he replied. "The wine has to be meaningfully dense and balanced. I try to make the selection early on, when the wines go into barrel, to decide which barrels they will go into. I take thicker barrels from Seguin Moreau so that the wine evolves longer and slower." A blend of 89.7% Syrah, 4.6% Grenache, 2.5% Petite Sirah and 3.2% Viognier, this wine was made using 44% whole cluster. It was then reared for 38 months in barrel. Eighty-two percent of the wine was aged in new, French oak, while the remainder was aged in used barrels (one to five years old). Very deep purple-black, it comes bounding out of the glass with precociously profound notes of baked blackberries, plum preserves, blueberry pie, tilled earth and lilacs plus tobacco leaf, wild sage, truffles and espresso nuances. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is tautly structured, strutting a firm backbone of rounded tannins and fantastic freshness supporting the muscular, tightly wrapped layers, finishing with epic length and loads of minerally fireworks. 932 cases, 228 magnums and 30 double magnums were made.