VARIETAL & VINEYARD: This Southern Rhône-style wine is 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, and 10% Syrah. The primary component of this blend comes from a 2.9 acre block, planted in 1998 to three selections of Grenache Noir, using bud-wood originally obtained from Tablas Creek and Alban Vineyards. These selections, originally from Châteauneuf-du-Pape give darker color and better structure than the majority of Grenache planted in California. Our Grenache and Mourvedre are planted at our creek-side vineyard block. The Syrah in this blend comes from Northern Rhône clones 174 and 877 located beside the winery. Our vines are planted on low-vigor rootstock to 4’x 6’ spacing. We routinely drop 40 to 50% of the clusters early in the growing season to facilitate depth and complexity in the wine.
VINTAGE: 2015 is one of our most successful vintages across the board for Unti. Yields were low thanks to smaller clusters and berries which was probably the result of 2015 being the third consecutive drought year. The dry winter followed by a warm summer had us harvesting both Grenache and Mourvedre by September 21st, by far the earliest date in our winery’s history. Some of the Southern Rhone’s best vintages are characterized by warm and dry conditions because Grenache and Mourvedre generate more interesting structure and flavors in these conditions.
WINEMAKING: We ferment all of these individual wines in small open top tanks after a five-day cold soak, the fermentation began spontaneously with indigenous yeast and lasted a little over two weeks. 20% of the grapes were fermented as whole clusters, a traditional method used to provide tannin structure, and more importantly a peppery aroma found in Gigondas or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. We chose not to include stems in the Mourvedre in order to avoid some green tannin. It worked, as this wine shows a seamless texture. True to the wine’s name, it was aged in a 620-gallon foudre, a size commonly used in the Rhône. These large barrels preserve the vineyard character by minimizing both oak extraction and oxidation.
STYLE / DESCRIPTION: This 2015 Grenache is a great example of the pretty side of Grenache based reds. The ripe vintage packs this wine with intense aromas of pepper, raspberry, cherry, blackberry, tar, licorice, and dried herbs (enough with the descriptors!). Our 2015 Grenache has plenty of body and texture, with undeniable tension between fruit and spice. This medium to full- bodied wine should age nicely over the next 4-6 years.
HARVESTED: 9/16, 9/21, 10/2, 2015 26.5 BRIX AVG.
BLEND:80% GRENACHE 30% MOURVEDRE 30% SYRAH
ALCOHOL: 14.7 %
AGING: 14 MONTHS 620 GAL FOUDRE and 2-4 year old French oak barrels
CASES PRODUCED: 488