HARVESTED: SEPTEMBER 26-28,2017
BRIX AVG: 26
BLEND: 100% SYRAH
AGING: 13 MONTHS FRENCH OAK BARRELS 35% NEW
CASES PRODUCED: 475
ACIDITY: 5.7 g/L
ALCOHOL: 14.5 %
VARIETAL / VINEYARD: This 2017 Syrah “Normale” comes from three blocks planted to four clones of Syrah located on the winery property. (For those of you scoring at home, the clones are 174, 877, 383, and our original selection obtained from Durell in Sonoma). Planted on low-vigor rootstock in 1998. We have been increasingly impressed with the fruit complexity from all of these clones. Our winery property Syrah tends to show more cool-climate aromas and flavors (blueberry, olive) reminiscent of the Northern Rhone wines Crozes Hermitage and St. Joseph.
VINTAGE: 2017 was a fairly typical non-drought vintage for all of our grape varieties. A few summer heat spikes were followed by a cooler- than-normal August. We began harvesting Syrah September 26 and finished by September 28. All of our Syrah in 2017 has a very dark color, intense fruit, solid tannin structure, and acidity. It is one of the best vintages for our Syrah since 2007.
WINEMAKING: We ferment our Syrah in small open-top tanks. After a 5- day cold soak, fermentation begins with indigenous yeast. We then punch-down or pump juice over the cap twice daily. Once dry, the pomace is basket- pressed, blended with free-run wine, and transferred into barrels. A small portion of this wine was whole cluster fermented, which is for enhancing aromas. The wine was aged in only French Oak, 35% new, for 13 months.
STYLE / DESCRIPTION: This 2017 Syrah really illustrates the best attributes of this excellent vintage. It is dark, with intense blue and blackberry fruit, licorice, and spice, just like Syrah from of our favorite Crozes-Hermitage and St.- Joseph wines from the Northern Rhône. Like those wines, I recommend drinking this 2017 Syrah now through the next 5 or 6 years.
91 points Wine Spectator
"Dry Creek Valley’s Unti was an early advocate of California Rhône wines, and winemaker Jason Valenti continues to raise the bar with this racy 2017 Syrah, which has accents of smoke and cracked pepper." - Wine Spectator
WS 91 pt. review: An appealingly racy quality lends oomph to the refined black cherry and berry thicket notes. Accents of smoke and cracked pepper build toward an expansive finish. Drink now through 2027. 475 cases made.—T.F.