10 March, 2009

2007 UNTI Barbera


Well, seems as if I have a bromance goin' with Mick Unti of UNTI Vineyards

We met Mick at Nectar Wine Bar in Burlingame last night (09 Mar 09). His wines were the feature for the Monday evening tasting and he brought some excellent representations of his family-owned, craft-oriented vineyard. (That's code for he gives a shit about the wine more than capturing the $$ following the latest trend.)

We talked about our preferences in styles of wine and how overdone things are and we just seemed to be agreeing. Santa Lucia Highlands is not really Pinot but rather Zin and Rombauer ...well, you get the idea...it's about the wine, not the winemaker. We're a perfect match.

Mick graciously presented the flight of the four featured wines. First, the 2007 Cuvee Blanc, a clean mineral rich Grenache Blanc blend with Picpoul. Nice. Shale, green olive finish. Next, my friend, the 2006 Petit Frere. See previous blog for review. 3rd for the evening was the 2006 Zinfandel. Pleasant, not your average Dry Creek Zin. Very personable and understated. Reserved. Nice! Finally, the 2005 Syrah Benchland. Sourced from their own acreage on the East Dry Creek Bench. Well, OK. Syrah's not really my favorite, but it's certainly showing of it's character. Good. Ok.....Time to go home.

Now, I think I know what you're thinking..."tell us more about the bromance, Jase." Ok, Ok...well, this is where he sealed the deal.

See, while I was plenty excited on the drive up to catch up with the latest Unti news and "brews", I didn't have any idea what was in store for me. I thought she'd stayed home, at least that's what the rumors were. But no! Thankfully the rumor mill was blowin' smoke and Barbera was there to show me what's what!

Mick brought down a single bottle of the yet to be released 2007 Unti Barbera and was generous enough to not only share a taste with several of us, but several tastes for a few lucky souls. This delightful, honest ruby toned delight brought with her a celebration. She's Piemontes for sure, but with a tad more soft fruit, perhaps a slight bit richer than her Italian cousins, but with a more vivacious and youthful aire about her.

In a word, she's "glorious!"

Earlier in the evening, I asked Mick for his thoughts on veracity, that is, how truthful a wine can or should be, and that's where the connection was hooked. Mick's style is to let the wine be. Let it show itself, be itself, and alter very, very little, if at all.

Mick, I love you, man!

This Barbera shows great young character, and her glory is her truth. 2007 Unti Barbera releases shortly. Keep an eye out for it. Remember, it's NEVER at Whole Foods in San Mateo, so don't look there.


2007 Unti Barbera
Retail: $26
Grade: A-