We love rarity, and Sine Qua Non is rare by design. For every vintage winemaker, Manfred Krankl, not only makes new wine but designs a new label and bottle style. Each bottle is a work of art with a name that seems to capture its essence. Deemed as one of the most beautiful expressions of native Rhone varietals in the new world, Sine Qua Non is the epitome of cult status.

Eccentric labels and unique names alike; with this winery, there is more than meets the eye. Here are five facts about the Rhone ranger.

Humble Beginnings

What is now a household name, began in nothing greater than an empty, questionable warehouse. In fact, Robert Parker even described this wineries humble beginnings as “a facility that looks like a Mad Max movie set.” Owner Manfred Krankle, an Austrian native, came to the United States in the 1980s with nearly nothing to his name. A few great business decisions in the restaurant industry later, Krankle released the first official vintage of his passion project in 1994. Now expanded to a new facility and four owned estate vineyards, Sine Qua Non farms the larger majority of grapes used in the wine making process and reigns king of New World Rhone varietals!

Each Year Is A Work Of Art

Each bottle of Sine Qua Non is a chapter in a unique, evolving tale. The individuality of each wine goes beyond different percentages in a blend and varying vineyard characteristics. Each bottle of wine is adorned with its own unique name, label, and bottle shape, all designed by Manfred Krankl himself. With every coming year, Manfred designs reflect the personalities of the distinctive wines with a unique name and abstract artwork to match. Given that not one vintage of Sine Qua Non is the same, paired with its limited bottlings, it was only inevitable for this winery to rise to cult status.

Record-Breaking Rosé

Exclusive quantities and unique labels are just a preface for this wineries legacy. In 2014 a single bottle of the “Queen of Hearts” Rosé sold at an auction for a whopping $37,200! This transaction set the record for the most expensive Rosé ever sold. Soon to be outshined, in just a few weeks’ time, this record was beaten by a second bottle that sold for $58,075. The “Queen of Hearts” Rosé stands as the second most expensive bottle of wine sold in the past decade, second to the legendary Penfolds!

A 100-Point Legacy

In addition to the iconic moments in Sine Qua Non’s history, they consistently release some of the highest-rated Rhone-style wines in the entire world. SQN sits third with 22 100-point ratings from The Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker. To compare, SQN is beaten out by the 36 100-point scores of Guigal and the 42 perfectly scored wines of M. Chapoutier. It is safe to say that Sine Qua Non’s value extends well beyond quirky labels!

A Cellar Staple

Amongst the small circle of California cult status wines, Sine Qua Non’s Rhone varietals stand apart from the classic California Cabernet, making it a must-have for every serious collector. A smart investment, the average bottle prices has proven to double in value over a 5-year hold. Thinking you might want in on this coveted collector’s item? Best of luck, most spend an average of six years on SQN’s waiting list!

Considering the exceptional quality and scarcity of wine available, Sine Qua Non is a proven, sound investment. The best part? Benchmark Wine Group is proud to have one of the largest collections of Sine Qua Non in the country, ready to deliver at your request.

Do you have a favorite vintage of Sine Qua Non? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Established in 2002, Benchmark Wine Group is the leading source of fine and rare wine retailers, restaurants, and collectors around the world. Based in Napa Valley, we acquire the most sought-after wines from private individuals and professional contacts, but only when provenance can be verified by our team of acquisition professionals. Our staff draws on decades of industry experience and is dedicated to providing exceptional service to all of our clients. Benchmarkwine.com offers 24-hour access to our cellar, displaying inventory in real-time.