Sometimes your plans don't exactly work out as one anticipates. Say a trip planned around a grape, Zinfandel for example. Everything can go along swimmingly and then you come to a place where you have no problem with their Zinfandel, but Zinfandel as it turns out is not their story. Such was my visit to Unti, designed as part of an itinerary exploring Zinfandel. Now don't get me wrong, Unti's Zin is a fine example but as is usually the case I tasted through the entire lineup on offer at Unti during my visit.
In most cases I store away these notes for Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, the odd Grenache and Riesling as well. It's easy to anticipate publishing the notes at a future date in a compendium of tasting notes. One is always writing about those more familiar varieties but at Until things are, shall we say, a little different. When will I be writing about Fiano I ask myself, or domestic Montepulciano and Sangiovese blends? Not in the foreseeable future I am sure. So I'm left with these notes, bound to get lost to time unless of course I just decided to publish just these notes, and focus simply on Unti. I'm usually not a huge fan of articles that focus on a single producer, since the subject matter can tend to have a terribly narrow appeal, and it's difficult to maintain the appearance of impartiality if one is constantly being forced to pick favorites, but sometimes there is a story to tell. And that is the case here.
Unlike virtually every winery you are likely to encounter in the famous northern counties of California's wine producing region, Unti actively experiments with grapes that are well suited to the climate as opposed to well suited to the marketplace. It's an odd choice, foregoing Cabernet and Chardonnay in favor of Fiano and Sangiovese, with plenty of Grenache as well. Unti's style of wine is built around moderate alcohols and bright acids. We'd call them food wine though that term is forever scarred in my mind by the food wine movement of the early to mid 1980s when California's winemakers went down that mistaken path. The big difference between then and Unti is the choice of grapes.