Wine of the Week; 2008 Unti Vineyards Grenache

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  My Wine Of The Week is the 2008 Unti Vineyards Grenache.

The Winery

Unti Vineyards is a small family-owned and operated winery that specializes in Zinfandel, Rhône, and Italian varietals.  The winery was co-founded in 1997 by George and Linda Unti, and their son Mick Unti.  Mick manages all winemaking, sales and marketing for the winery. Sébastien Pochan is the winemaker.

The Unti’s farm 60 acres of vineyards in Dry Creek Valley.  When one thinks of Dry Creek valley wines, Zinfandel is top of mind. Italian varietals like Barbera, Sangiovese, Montepulciano are not.  However, the Unti’s are producing four bottlings of Italian varietals that have found success.

All of the Unti’s grapes have been biodynamically farmed since 2004.

My wife and I discovered Unti Vineyards in 2010 when we attended Passport to Dry Creek Valley. We returned a few times since then and have alway enjoyed their wines.

The Wine

This “Southern Rhône style” wine is primarily based on Grenache Noir.  The fruit come from their creekside vineyard, planted in 1998.  The budwood for the Grenache was obtained from Tablas Creek and Alban Vineyards.  According to Unti..

These clonal selections, all from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, give darker color and better structure than the majority of the Grenache clones planted in California

In addition to Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre are added for color, body, and complexity. 40% of the fruit for this blend is whole cluster fermented.

Wine of the Week: Unti Vineyards 2008 Grenache

Wine of the Week: Unti Vineyards 2008 Grenache

My tasting notes follow

Nearly opaque violet color with red fruit, white pepper, and anise aromas. Initially the nose was closed in. It opened up with a little air time. On the palate, it’s between light and medium-bodied, fresh and balanced with raspberry, and cherry  and spice flavors. Medium finish – 89pts

Rating: Recommended; This is my kind a Grenache!

The Wine Geek Stuff:

Alcohol: 14.5% alcohol.

Closure: Cork

AVA: > CaliforniaSonoma CountyDry Creek Valley

Varietal(s): 75% Grenache, 13% Mourvedre, 12% Syrah

Cooperage: 13 months 620 gal French oak foudres, 2 yr-old French oak barrels

Retail: $26

Cases produced: 715

Purchased for review

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