SINE QUA NON TECTUMQUE 2017
Tectumque means “shelter” in Latin. This wine was initially going to be called “Inconnue” (“unknown” in French), but that name had already been trademarked. “Naming wines is becoming impossible,” mentioned Manfred. “Everything has already been taken. Even, 'No Name!'” This is a blend of 38% Roussanne, 31% Petit Manseng, 18% Chardonnay, 9% Viognier and 4% Muscat. The vineyard components are 52% Cumulus Estate, 19% Eleven Confessions Estate, 18% Bien Nacido Vineyard and 11% The Third Twin Estate. It spent around 20 months aging in 9% concrete eggs, 4% amphora, 9% used barrels and 78% new French oak puncheons. Just recently bottled, the 2017 Tectumque was bit closed on the nose when I first tried it, springing to life upon second tasting a month later, offering up with seducing notes of tangerine peel, tropical fruits, paraffin wax and honeycomb with a floral undercurrent—orange blossom and honeysuckle—followed by a waft of allspice. The palate is full, rich and wonderfully creamy with compelling, juxtaposing phenolic grip. (Manfred thinks this phenolic attribute comes from the tiny Petit Manseng berries with very thick skins. These berries also lend a lot of natural acidity.) Possessing a very fresh, laser-fine line of vivacity, it finishes very long and incredibly fragrant. Given the structure, intensity and nature of the flavors, I foresee this aging with all the grace of a great Chateauneuf du Pape blanc and should easily cellar for 15-20+ years. 773 cases and 324 magnum bottles were made. 97+/100. ROBERT PARKER.