SINE QUA NON THE GORGEOUS VICTIM 2017
The 2017 Grenache The Gorgeous Victim (first tasted last year as a barrel sample and before it had been named) is composed of 76% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 9% Syrah, 3.8% Petit Sirah and 1.2% Viognier. The vineyard sources are: are 46% Cumulus Estate, 29% Eleven Confessions Estate, 6% Molly Aida Estate, 17% The Third Twin Estate and 2% Bien Nacido Vineyard. It was aged for around 23 months in 23% new French oak, 48% used oak (various sizes) and 29% concrete. Forty-six percent (mainly Grenache) was fermented using whole clusters. Deep garnet-purple in color, this wine has a very serious nose of game, fertile soil, crushed rocks and new leather over a wonderfully pure, well-defined core of crushed black cherries and ripe blackberries with wafts of unsmoked cigars and Sichuan pepper. Full-bodied, rich, concentrated and built like a brick house, it has a solid backbone of firm, finely grained tannins and great acidity, finishing long and mineral laced. 1,212 cases and 600 magnums were made. "The Gorgeous Victim" features an old black and white photo on the label, taken by Manfred Krankl's grandfather, of a deer brought home, thoughtfully arranged and displayed with personal props in the middle of a floor. The name and, in fact, the style of the wine are intriguingly complementary to the picture, collectively creating a compelling story that I would defy drinkers to say is merely the power of suggestion. The companion 2017 Syrah to this Grenache is "The Hated Hunter"—a reference to Manfred's grandfather. 98/100. ROBERT PARKER.