"The 2003 Mr. K. The Noble Man, a 100% Chardonnay made from botrytised fruit, possesses 278 grams of residual sugar per liter and 9.9 grams of acid per liter. There are a whopping 537 cases of half bottles. While deep golden-hued and honeyed, with brilliant unctuosity, thickness, and richness, it takes third place when ranked against its two sweet siblings. Readers should think of it as a Chardonnay Trockenbeerenauslese.
Vineyard sources are gradually changing at Sine Qua Non as a movement to 100% estate fruit from vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills and sites near the winery in Ventura County come into full production. However, at present some grapes emanate from other sources, particularly white grapes from the Alban Vineyard, and Grenache and Syrah from Alban, Alta Mesa, Bien Nacido, Shadow Canyon, and White Hawk vineyards. Yields were unbelievably small in 2003 (white varietals yielded .9 tons of fruit per acre, Pinot Noir 1.64 tons per acre, Grenache .32 tons per acre, and Syrah 1.20 tons per acre). In 2004, white varietal yields were 1.49 tons per acre, Pinot Noir 1.19 tons per acre, Grenache 1.04 tons per acre, and Syrah a whopping 1.48 tons per acre. Yields rose by 20-40% in 2005. Longtime readers know that I consider these offerings to be about as remarkable as New World wines can be. They possess extraordinary richness and nuances as well as superb balance, purity, and aging potential. The whites are whole cluster pressed and go straight to barrel without any stabilization or settling, and everything is fermented with indigenous yeasts. No racking takes place until bottling, which is usually more than a year after the harvest. The reds are 100% destemmed, although Grenache stems have been utilized on occasion. One to two ton open top fermenters are used, and following a cold soak that can last up to seven days, the wines are fermented with 2-3 daily punch downs. They are kept on their skins for a maximum of 2 plus weeks. All malolactic takes place in barrel, and the wines are bottled 18-24 months after the harvest with minimal clarification. Manfred Krankl, a true believer in radical viticulture, practices extensive crop-thinning, shoot positioning, etc. The meticulous attention to detail is evident in both the vineyard and the winery.
" -Rated 94, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate