Elaine and Manfred Krankl (the latter a co-founder of La Brea Bakery and the lamented Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles) started out as quasi-hobbyists in the wine game, making 100 cases or so of Central Coast syrah in 1994; today their Sine Qua Non produces some of the best (and most expensive) wines in California — an American vinicological success story. Their goal, they like to say, was to make wines so good that they became virtually essential for wine-lovers — hence the name of the winery, Latin for "without which not," which is to day "indispensable." Their offerings change frequently, but tend towards Rhône varieties, always with imaginative names. Hence the 2010 Five Shooter and Stockholm Syndrome grenache/syrah blends, the 2012 In the Abstract white blend (chardonnay, roussanne, petit manseng, and viognier), and the 2013 And an Eight Track rosé (85 percent grenache, the rest mourvèdre and syrah). The wines tend to fairly burst with flavor and nearly always achieve perfect balance; they're seamless.