MARCH 17, 2020
STOCK UP + STAY HOME SALE
In an effort to stay safe + healthy, we will be open daily, 10-4 for wine sales only, and will not be holding any tastings. If you would like to stock up to stay home with UNTI wines, now through May 31st we will be offering 10% off any 6 bottles and 20% off any 12 bottles. Since quarantining is a solitary affair, here are some everyday UNTI wines that are perfect for just this occasion.
UNTI EVERYDAY PLAYERS
The best teams in any sport are made up of all-stars and roll-players, both managed skillfully by the coach. Over the past 20-plus years at Unti, we have been fortunate to cultivate some star vineyard blocks—West Terrace Sangiovese, Benchland Syrah, and Alban clone Grenache come to mind.
However, some of our blocks play different roles. Every year we harvest and ferment several different blocks to make our wines. Winemaker Jason Valenti and I then select the most compelling lots to use for our Barbera, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Zinfandel, Grenache, and Syrah-labeled wines. Any lots that fail to make the varsity quad then get blended into our JV wines.
Before you start feeling sorry for these “lesser” lots, thinking that they aren’t worthy of a high-quality estate winery, let me be clear: All of our wine lots are farmed and fermented with the intention of them making the big squad.
This means we thin 50 to 60 percent of the crop on these vines. They are fermented in small tanks, which is how we make all of our best wines. We age our wines in only French oak barrels, regardless if they are going into Sangiovese Riserva or Rosso del Campo.
So why did we not select them for our best wines?
Well, just like in sports, some vineyard blocks have more natural talent than others. While the grapes that go into Petit Frere or Rosso del Campo may not make a wine as good as our best blocks, any other winery would love to get their hands on these grapes. Simply put, Petit Frere and Ross del Campo allow us to go for the gusto and make the best Southern Rhône Blend, Montepulciano, or Sangiovese from our estate. It is like laying down a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt.
Could we sneak some of these lots into our Barbera, Grenache, or Montepulciano to increase the volume of wines selling for a higher price? Probably.
But the same irrational thinking that inspired us to plant and make the above wines in the first place is what keeps us trying to make a statement about their quality in Dry Creek Valley.
Yes, we sacrifice short term profits for the ability to make a more compelling wine in the long haul. That is precisely what should be the distinguishing feature of an Estate Winery. We knew the job was dangerous when we took it.
2017 ROSSO DEL CAMPO $24 p u r c h a s e h e r e
60% Barbera, 20% Montepulciano, 20% Sangiovese
I’m not a fan of the term “pizza wine” because I love pizza, especially from our Briscola-playing friends at Diavola. But I’m too much of a wine goof to narrowly define only a certain type of wine to enjoy with pizza. I’ll drink anything with a good slice.
However, if your definition of a pizza wine is a fruity, medium-bodied wine with low-to-moderate tannin, I’ll indulge you by admitting this ’17 Rosso del Campo absolutely checks the pizza wine box.
The Barbera comes from our younger block planted in 2007, Montepulciano from our Yellow House block, and the Sangiovese is also from our youngest vines. Perhaps as these vines age, they will produce more concentrated and structured wines. But until then, you get to drink a high-quality wine at a reasonable price on the days that end in y.
2017 PETIT FRERE $24 p u r c h a s e h e r e
60% Mourvèdre, 40% Grenache
I am often asked if we would ever consider making a wine labeled Mourvèdre. Mourvèdre seems to inspire the same kind of demented passion expressed by fans of Petite Sirah. Unfortunately, we simply don’t have enough Mourvèdre planted to bottle it as a separate varietal wine.
We first planted only about an acre of Mourvèdre in 1998, and this is still by far our best lot. It is the key component to making Cuvée Foudre in the structured style of a Châteauneuf-Du-Pape. The only problem is Cuvée Foudre takes pretty much the entire lot.
In 2013, George planted 2 acres of Mourvèdre on the Benchland property. Mourvèdre is a late-ripening variety, and everything on the Benchalnad property ripens earlier than the winery location. Eventually, we hope this vineyard block will provide more high-quality Mourvèdre, either to make more Cuvée Foudre or a single Mourvèdre bottling.
2016 was the first crop of this vineyard and while it exhibits classic cherry and savory aromas and flavors, the wine isn’t structured enough to play with the big boys (CF and GR). This is normal for young vine Mourvèdre.
That being said, the young vine Mourvèdre DOES show excellent varietal character in a lovely, more fruit-forward Cotes du Rhône-style red. Mourvèdre and Grenache were meant for each other, be it in the form of a powerful, age-worthy Châteauneuf-Du-Pape, or a grip-and-rip-it Cotes du Rhone.
For those Mourvèdre têtes out there, this wine is for you.
2018 ROSÉ $180 / case p u r c h a s e h e r e
90% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre
As with Bandol Rosé our 2018 is drinking better today than it was last summer, probably because Grenache and Mourvèdre make a fuller-bodied wine. We are about to bottle our 2019 Rosé and need to clear out these last few cases of the '18— at this price, you really can do what our favorite bachelorette parties say...drink #domesticbandolroséallday (#athome)!
LAST CALL 2017 BARBERA LAST CALL 2017 SEGROMIGNO LAST CALL 2018 FIANO
Now that George Unti has some more time on his hands he's been home filling out his Spring training line-up card...
All wines may be ordered here on our web store or by calling the winery (707) 433-5590
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