2005 Sine Qua Non Naked Truth 1500ml
The 2005 The Naked Truth (a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah) displays a backside portrait of Manfred Krankl’s wife, Elaine. (Krankl does all the artwork for his labels.) Approximately 38% whole clusters/stems were used during fermentation, and the wine is aged in a combination of small barrels and larger demi-muids. Contrary to everything I have learned about Grenache, this offering spends 38 months in wood, yet it shows no evidence of oak, and it possesses remarkable vibrancy and freshness. It’s the kind of wine that makes a mockery of all “conventional” wisdom about oak and Grenache. Made totally from fruit grown in the 11 Confessions Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills, it is about as profound a Grenache as one is likely to taste. Krankl looks everywhere for inspiration, and there is a large picture (and I mean large) of the great southern Rhone oenologist, Philippe Cambie, hanging in the winery. There may be a spiritual kinship to what Cambie’s magic is unleashing in the southern Rhone and what Krankl is doing in California. The dense ruby/plum/purple-colored Naked Truth reveals an extraordinary bouquet of sweet black raspberries, boysenberries, kirsch, licorice, pepper, and spice. Full-bodied with noteworthy concentration, freshness, texture, and length, it is a tour de force as well as a mind-boggling example of Grenache that is likely to turn heads, but how many wine lovers have the guts, courage, and are willing to put up with the tiny yields and challenging maturity curve of Grenache in California to pull off something like this? Not many. That’s why we don’t see more than a handful of wines such as this emanating from California.