Photographed at Sine Qua Non's Cumulus Vineyard in Oak View, Calif.
The most coveted California cult wine these days isn't made in Napa or Sonoma, and it's not a Cabernet. From Ventura County, Manfred Krankl and his wife, Elaine, produce just 3,500 cases a year of Sine Qua Non wine -- the only American label to have received eight perfect scores from critic Robert Parker. Its hallmark is its estate Syrah, which sells for $200 a bottle -- if you can get one. Individuals can buy it only if they're on the 1,475-member mailing list (there's a six-year wait to join). Each vintage has a different name and label designed by Krankl, who for his first act started Los Angeles' Campanile restaurant and La Brea Bakery. "I think people get a sense they are buying from real people," says Krankl, "and not just a company or a brand."