In 2001, the Krankls planted this first of their estate-owned vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills. “We named the vineyard ELEVEN CONFESSIONS,” Manfred said, “because 11 different scions are planted there, and all of them will at some point have to speak the truth. Confess, as it were. And you shall be their judge.”
Today, Eleven Confessions has 33 acres planted. Eleven acres of Pinot Noir were already planted when they purchased the property, about half of which have been grafted over, and the Krankls planted a further 22 acres in 2001. To fully ripen Manfred’s preferred medium—mainly Rhône varieties—in this area, more commonly planted to cooler-climate grapes such as Pinot and Chardonnay, the Krankls need to go super low on the yields and long on the hang time. “This vineyard is by far the coolest of our vineyards,” Manfred explained. “Sometimes, we don’t harvest until November.” Punitive yields of 1.5 tons per acre or less are typical. In the years when it’s good and ready to sing, Eleven Confessions is used to make a single-vineyard wine under the Sine Qua Non label. “The wines have a lot of structure and presence,” Manfred commented. “The soil is mainly heavy clay, so the wines can be pretty muscular.”
Rated 100 Points
The 2018 Syrah Eleven Confessions Vineyard is pure gold and Syrah doesn't get any better, no matter what region you're talking about. Incredible notes of ripe cherries, currants, ground black and white pepper, cured meats, and saddle leather all soar from the glass, and it's full-bodied, deep, and concentrated on the palate. Opening up with time in the glass, it certainly offers pleasure today yet warrants 2-4 years of bottle age and will have two decades of overall longevity. Hats off to the Krankl family for another utterly magical wine.