A ‘Goliath’ 27-litre bottle of Sine Qua Non’s highly prized The Inaugural Syrah from the 2003 vintage provided the centrepiece for a charity event organised by The Legacy Cellar Foundation.
Robert M. Parker Jr, the famous wine critic who retired from The Wine Advocate in 2019, donated the ‘unicorn’ bottle in order to help raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is marking its 60th anniversary.
Held at a private residence in Bel Air on 14 May, 60 guests paid $30,000 per seat and organisers said donations continued to come in during the evening.
‘Through the generosity of Robert M. Parker Jr, we are thrilled to raise $3m to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through this singular bottle of wine,’ said Garth Hodgdon, director of The Legacy Cellar Foundation.
Hodgdon added, ‘The 2003 was the first Syrah made entirely from Sine Qua Non’s Eleven Confessions vineyard and this Goliath bottle was the only one of its kind.’
A dinner prepared by James Beard award-winning chef Nancy Silverton was served to guests alongside the wine, which was decanted in advance of the meal.
In a video interview from the event, Parker Jr explained how he had been intending to uncork the 27-litre bottle at his daughter’s wedding, but the celebration ended up being smaller than planned due to Covid restrictions.
He added he was happy to donate the bottle. ‘I do a lot of charity work and St Jude’s is one of my favourites,’ he said.
Sine Qua Non, a cult name for Rhône-style California wines and often present on auction house lists, was founded in 1994 by Manfred Krankl and his wife, Elaine.
They planted a vineyard in 2001, and this led to the release of The Inaugural Syrah 2003. ‘We only made 364 cases of that wine and this one 27-litre bottle is like three cases in one,’ said Manfred Krankl.
Commenting on the wine ending up at the charity event, he said, ‘I love St Jude’s and what they do. I’m very happy to be part of it.’
The Legacy Cellar Foundation said it was planning more events in aid of nonprofit groups. ‘The organisation’s mission is to convert wine collections into charitable donations,’ it said.