March 31, 2023

Sine Qua Non toast, part 8: another 11 Confessions

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After the massive vertical of Sine Qua Non's Eleven Confessions syrah a bunch of us went through last fall, somehow we have been unable to round up the group to go through the grenache counterparts. The planning has been poor, and with the border opening we saw people fly around a lot more over the last few months. Finally, though, a few of us managed to gather around tonight for the second round.

I have not been to many of Umberto Bombana's restaurants under the Octavo brand, and certainly not Venédia Grancaffé. Our friend very kindly negotiated with the restaurant on the menu as well as wine service. It's been a long time since I last tasted the cuisine from Roland Schuller, and I was really curious.

Balik salmon, egg white dressing, greens, salmon roe - the salmon was OK, but somehow the egg whites on top were very hard and chewy... which was very strange and unpleasant.

Grilled scampi, royal caviar - no idea what "royal" caviar is since so many suppliers misuse that word. In any case it wasn't anything special. The scampi was OK.

Spaghetti, garlic, oil, chili, Alaskan king crab - OK la... nothing special.

Turbot, crispy skin, Vin Jaune sauce - the skin of the turbot was nice and crispy, and there was decent acidity in the vin jaune sauce.

Veal chop Milanese, cherry tomato salad, Amalfi lemon - this was nice and big.

Thankfully we only ended up with a small sliver for each of us.

Mixed cheese platter - with Camembert, Comté, Fontina, and Toma del Fra which showed a little ammonia.

The focus tonight was squarely on the wines. Unfortunately we were down a couple of guys compared to our last gathering, so we didn't have the same number of bottles. Still, I think we did OK...

Egly-Ouriet Les Vignes de Vrigny, dégorgée septembre 2021 - nice and floral nose. Good and mature on the palate with good balance.

2007 Sine Qua Non Stripes and Stars - 55% Syrah and 45% Grenache. flinty and metallic, with nice red currants. A little reductive on the nose. Nice on the palate, very smooth and rounded.

2004 Sine Qua Non Ode to E Grenache - 95% Grenache, 5% Syrah. Served around 2½ hours after opening without decanting. Lots of coconut butter, a little metallic, some dried herbs. Really beautiful and still going strong more than 3 hours after opening.

2007 Sine Qua Non Dangerous Birds Grenache - 88% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 2% Viognier. Decanted nearly 1½ hours after opening, and served after an hour in decanter. Nose was more muted and leaner.

2008 Sine Qua Non The Duel Grenache - 80% Grenache, 17% Syrah, 2% Viognier, 1% Roussanne. Very alcoholic. Metallic, lots of exotic spices and dried herbs, and a little sharp around the edges.

2009 Sine Qua Non This is Not an Exit Grenache - 79% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 3% Viognier and 3% Roussanne. Also pretty alcoholic. A little woodsy on the nose.

2010 Sine Qua Non Stockholm Syndrone Grenache - 75% Grenache, 22% Syrah, 2% Roussanne, and 1% Viognier. Served after about 2 hours in the decanter. Drinking very nicely now, very ripe and alcoholic, a little sharp on the nose. Full of ripe, sweet black fruits.

2011 Sine Qua Non Patine Grenache - 78% Grenache, 21% Syrah, and 1% Viognier. More herbs and spices on the nose here.

2001 Mr. K The Noble Man - 100% Chardonnay. Soooo rich and dripping in honey, with very ripe honeydew melon, followed by some marmalade later.

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