Unti’s 2007 Dry Creek Syrah comes primarily from the winery’s six acre benchland vineyard, which has been the mainstay of their Syrah program since 1997. The vines were planted in 1991 using bud wood obtained from the Durell vineyard in Sonoma.
Since 2004 this vineyard has been farmed following natural cycles without the use of pesticides or herbicides. Mick Unti keeps the yields extremely low in this vineyard to ensure that this wine is dense and packed with intense dark fruit aromas and flavors. The color is a deep black cherry. The nose is spice, leather, violet, pepper, and a light smoke. The wine itself is full bodied with great balance and structure, showing intense and concentrated blackberry and black cherry fruit with the pepper, bacon, earth, and smoke you look for in a good 100% Syrah. Its firm tannins will allow for many years of development, anywhere from 4-10 years to show its best.
The Unti winery is a small family owned operation that specializes in red varietal wines of Rhone and Italian varietals with vineyard personality. Their benchland property is planted with 25 acres of Zinfandel, Syrah, Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, and Grenache Noir. The winery property is planted with 35 acres of Syrah clones 383, 470, 174, and 877, Zinfandel, Grenache Noir, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Barbera, Montepulciano, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc and Vermentino. In total, the winery produces about 6500 cases per year.
George and Mick Unti believe the Dry Creek Valley’s climate is ideal for growing classic Mediterranean grape varietals. When they are farmed for quality these varietals show attributes of expressive fruit, ripe tannins, and balanced acidity. Their wine making process employs modern techniques of long pre-fermentation maceration, open top tank fermenters, basket pressing, and aging only in new and used French oak barrels to highlight the aromatics and flavors derived from the vineyards. Their artisan methods of farming and winemaking enhance and support an ability to make wines with a sense of place. Almost all of their wines, and opinions, are unfiltered.
Mick Unti co-founded Unti Vineyards Winery with George and Linda Unti, in 1997. Mick manages the day to day operations of the winery including winemaking, sales and marketing. Mick was born in San Jose, Ca. He finished high school and went to college in the Seattle area at University of Washington. Mick realized early in life the importance of taking the easy way out. He eschewed pursuing a career in the subjects of his degree (Broadcast Communications and Political Science) in favor of working in the wine business. He worked in retail for 8 years, then served as National Sales Manager for McDowell Valley Vineyards before taking a similar position with Jess Jackson's Artisans and Estates. In 1998, Mick left his cushy job at KJ to devote all of his time to the Unti Vineyards Winery.
90+ PTS. The Rhone Report, November 2010
“The Wine’s inky purple is followed by a smoky, spicy bouquet of blackberries, roasted meat juice, tar and dusty chocolate. Very fresh and precise on the nose, the wine is medium to full bodied on the palate, possessing a silky, polished texture, impressive balance, and a chewy, tannic finish where the wine’s whole cluster fermentation shows. This blossoms in the glass so if drinking anytime soon, a decant is recommended. Elegant, but well structured, this should evolve over the next 3-5 years, as well as perform beautifully for a decade. “