Santa Barbara County
Seth Kunin, a transplanted New Yorker, first arrived on the west coast to work in California's fine dining scene, where he fell in love with wine and ended up quitting the restaurant business. After several years working for other producers, he set his sights on producing a range of wines reminiscent of the elegant Rhône wines he loved, settling on the Santa Barbara region - California's coolest wine-growing area and until then known chiefly for its high-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Seth Kunin started Kunin Wines in 1998, focusing on Syrah, Zinfandel and Viognier. Over the years he added additional Rhone and Loire Valley varieties such as Grenache, Mourvedre, Rousanne, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc and, more importantly, his wife and business partner Magan and their daughter Phoebe.
Elegant, Rhône-style Syrah from 3 vineyard sites located in California's coolest wine growing area. An incredible new-wave Californian red.
PRESS AND REVIEWS
93 pts - Antonio Galloni, Vinous
The 2016 Syrah (Santa Barbara County) is an absolutely gorgeous appellation-level wine. Striking in its aromatics, with plenty of bright red/purplish berry fruit, the 2016 captures all the best of this house style. The 2016 is refreshing, vibrant and full of energy, which makes it next to impossible to put the glass down. Vineyard sites are Larner, Alisos, and Camp Four. The 2016 is flat-out delicious. That's pretty much all there is to it.
92+pts- Robert Parker
The 2016 Syrah has a medium to deep ruby-purple color with scents of blackcurrant, crushed blueberry, warm boysenberry and dark chocolate-covered cherries with hints of white pepper, green peppercorn and fragrant lavender. Medium-bodied, it gives up oodles of floral-accented, ripe, juicy fruits in the mouth with ripe, grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing long on a blue fruit note. 580 cases produced.
91 points - Matt Walls, Decanter Magazine
Seth Kunin championed a finer style of Californian Syrah from 1998 until his passing in 2017. Arresting, stalky aromas: raspberry leaf, raspberry, blueberry, tomato stalk, dark chocolate, white pepper. Light to medium-bodied, but a rounded palate with forthright acidity. Higher alcohol than most northern Rhône Syrahs but with good finesse: a refreshingly different expression.