If you're a devotee of Kunin Wines, natural wines, RobertParker, or perhaps all three, you may have noticed Parker's recent glowing report and 92 point rating of Kunin Natural Chenin Blanc, Jurassic Park, Santa Ynez '16. It's a fitting tribute to Seth's vision and talent for being ahead of the curve of low-intervention wines.
Seth first made natural Chenin in 2010—well before "natural" was a trend in the US. Since then the wine has evolved from a small experiment to a gem that's perfect for those who champion the lightest touch and highest expression of terroir.
Seth always selected great vineyards, and Jurassic Park is a great example. It's one of the few own-rooted vineyards in the country, and the east-west sprawl of 50 year old vines yields tiny, concentrated berries. The vineyard sits at 1100 elevation on sandy, well-draining limestone (and dino-bone) soils, maintaining that zing of freshness that is the mark of all Kunin's wines.
The fruit comes from the first harvest pass; once destemmed and crushed, the grapes vinify in the manner of reds, in open top fermenters with daily punch-downs. After the wild yeasts do their thing, the wine is pressed to 6+ year old barrels where it rests for 14 months. Then it’s bottled unfiltered and unfined with—naturally—zero sulfur.
The wine opens with an exuberant nose of passion fruit, honeydew melon and honeysuckle; the palate is complex with ripe fruits, intriguing texture, and balancing acidity.
Fortunately for Kunin fans and everyone who enjoys authentic wines, Seth's traditions live on through his talented wife Magan. She's every bit as dedicated, humble and passionate about making wines that are pure, delicious and exciting.
In the meantime, we will savor the 2016s, Seth's last complete vintage.