BUNTER SPRING WINERY — CURRENT RELEASES
2022 BUNTER SPRING CHARDONNAY COOMBSVILLE NAPA VALLEY 12.93% alcohol, 34 cases, $40/bottle. We just gotta have Chard. As much as we love many white wines, no other grape has the texture and satisfying rich mouthfeel of Chardonnay. For us, with roast chicken, and especially Dungeness crab, nothing else will do! We don’t like a lot of oak, so even though this is barrel fermented, it’s about the fruit, not the oak. Modest alcohol, moderate totally natural acidity, and an unintended but luscious touch of unfermented sugar create a gentle but textured balance that makes this endlessly quaffable, with or without food. Ingredients: grapes, water, sulfite. Filtered, not fined. At bottling: total SO2 77 ppm, residual sugar 2.8 g/l (not quite dry). Limit two bottles.
2022 BUNTER SPRING WHITE WINE SANTA CLARA COUNTY 12.58% alc., 35 cases $20 This was made with 100% sauvignon blanc grapes. To us, it doesn’t smell or taste much like sauvignon blanc, probably because of the vineyard location and management. It is reminiscent of light dry whites from the warmer regions around the Mediterranean Sea: pleasant, s’more-ish, smacking more of dried grass and herbs than fruit, good for washing down fish, olives, and strong salty cheese. Total sulfite 60 ppm, residual sugar 0.1 g/l (bone dry).
2022 BUNTER SPRING MACERATED WHITE SANTA CLARA COUNTY 11.8% alc., 12 cases, $20 The same grapes as went into the wine above, only fermented on the skins for ten days before pressing. The maceration increased aromatic intensity considerably, but the result is not more like sauvignon blanc, just more like perfumed herbs. The mouthfeel and flavor are remarkable: tart, mineral, almost salty. A very unusual wine. Total sulfite 60 ppm, residual sugar 0.4 g/l (dry).
2019 SPRING “ORANGE WINE” SAUVIGNON BLANC SANTA CRUZ 12.08% alc., 48 cases, $20 Orange wine is a potentially misleading name for wine made from white grapes fermented on their skins in the manner of red wine. Depending on the variety, and how long the maceration, the color can range from pale straw to deep pink, almost red. This one’s relatively light as it was only on the skins for five days. It has interesting aroma and flavors reminiscent of stone fruit and herbs, dried grass, savory spice. Slightly tannic, with more texture than white wine. Good with many foods, especially Asian, and shrimp. Ingredients: grapes, yeast, 40 ppm total sulfite. Dry.
2020 BUNTER SPRING ROSÉ OF SYRAH NAPA VALLEY ESTATE 12.41% alc., 33 cases, $30 Fires raged across Napa County, and most winegrowing regions in California, all through the summer and fall of 2020. After the Hennessey fire late in July, we decided to pick early and make rosé. Boy were we smart. Our neighbors and everyone in Napa who waited to ripen their grapes for red wine were wiped out or made smoke-tainted wine thanks to the Glass Fire in late September. This is a relatively deeply colored, medium bodied wine, with medium acidity, low alcohol and full raspberry and herb flavor. A deep pink wine for food, rather than a pale poolside pounder. Ingredients: grapes, water, yeast, tartaric acid. Not fined, not filtered. At bottling: 64 ppm total sulfite, <0.1 g/L residual sugar (absolutely dry).
2021 PINOT NOIR MONTEREY COUNTY 13.57% alc., 53 cases, $40. A blend of mostly Santa Lucia Highlands Pommard and Cl. 667 with some Cl. 113 from lower Carmel Valley, this is a super friendly very flavorful and easy drinking wine, with tons of fruit and spicy French oak character. Total sulfite 77 ppm, residual sugar 0.3 g/l (dry).
2019 SPRING PINOT NOIR PALISADES VINEYARD CARMEL VALLEY 12.84% alcohol, 50 cases, $40. Owner John Stafsnes spares no amount of trouble or expense on his vineyard. In one of the many examples of AVA nonsense, Palisades, smack dab in the center of Carmel Valley, isn’t in the Carmel Valley AVA, although vineyards many miles away, and over the ridge, in tributary Cachagua valley, are. So legally it’s not Carmel Valley wine, it’s Monterey wine. Whatever. It is subtle but complex, a wine to savor and consider at length with good food. Low alcohol with medium body, spicy, leafy, earthy aromas, tart red cherry and red currant flavors finishing with lingering cinnamon-like tannins. Can you taste the $1300 French barrel? Hope so! Ingredients: grapes, water, yeast , sulfite. Not fined, reverse osmosis filtered. At bottling: total SO2 69 ppm, residual sugar 0.3 g/L (dry).
SPRING 2018 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CALISTOGA, NAPA VALLEY, 13.6% alcohol, 24 cases, $60/bottle. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, organically grown on the site of the historic vineyard of Samuel Brannan, the founder of Calistoga. Calistoga is the warmest AVA in Napa Valley, and you can taste it here. This is a bold, ripe, spicy wine, with plenty of tannin, aged 34 months in new American oak, very contemporary in style, just what people love about Napa Cab. Although it’s drinkable now, this wine will be much better in five or ten years, and might well last many years. The grapes from this vineyard are expensive, and go into several wines selling for hundreds of dollars. Ingredients: organic grapes, water, yeast, sulfite. Not fined, reverse osmosis filtered. At bottling: total sulfites 46 ppm, residual sugar 0.2 g/l (totally dry).
2018 SPRING CABERNET SAUVIGNON HIGHLAND VINEYARD MONTEREY 13.96% alcohol, 50 cases, $30. Classic California Cab. Delicious varietal flavor, full body, pleasant tannin. Ingredients: grapes, water, yeast , tartaric acid, sulfur dioxide. Not fined, filtered. At bottling: total SO2 66 ppm, residual sugar 0.4 g/L (dry).
2018 SPRING “GARAGITAGE” HIGHLAND VINEYARD MONTEREY 76% Cab Franc, 16% Petit Verdot,8% Cab Sauv 14.64% alcohol, 76 cases, $24. Say “guh-rahj-i-tahj”. This blend of Bordelaise varieties, a concept conceived and born many years ago in my garage, is a way to get around paying the license fee required to use the trademarked, inscrutable, and usually mispronounced term “Meritage”. Legally, I could have labeled this wine Cabernet Franc. The only thing harder to sell than Cabernet Franc is Syrah, of which we have two, so… Big ripe fruity red wine, lotsa alcohol, plenty tannin, enough oak. Screams “CALIFORNIA!” Gotta love it. Why pay more? Ingredients: grapes, water, yeast , tartaric acid, sulfur dioxide. Not fined, reverse osmosis filtered. At bottling: total SO2 66 ppm, residual sugar 0.4 g/L (dry).
2018 HIPPIE SYRAH, NAPA VALLEY. 100% Syrah. 14.12% alcohol, 68 cases, $30. Made with organic grapes. Here, the ‘wild’ yeast behaved themselves during a peaceful anti-establishment fermentation. We added a little sulfite to the one third that underwent two weeks of carbonic maceration. For a “Hippie” wine, it’s pretty square, with some spicy American oak character any Republican could love. Ingredients: Organic grapes, water, sulfite. Not filtered, not fined. At bottling: total sulfite 37 ppm, residual sugar <0.1 g/l (dry).
SPRING 2018 “PIZZA WINE” RED BLEND, HIGHLAND VINEYARD, MONTEREY 65% Zinfandel, 35% Syrah. 14.96% alcohol, 75 cases, $24/bottle. “Pizza Wine” You can drink this with burgers, too, or with nothing at all, but it’s really good with pizza and spicy pasta. Aged sixteen months in American oak barrels. Ingredients: grapes, water, yeast, tartaric acid, sulfite. Not filtered, not fined. At bottling: total sulfite 52 ppm, residual sugar 0.3 g/l (dry).
SPRING 2017 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CARMEL VALLEY Organic grapes 13.38% alcohol, 24 cases, $45/bottle. This wine is from a historic organic vineyard in the hills high above the Carmel River. The AVA gives a distinct and recognizable character to its fruit, something midway between Napa and Paso Robles- which is exactly where it is! Twenty months in french and American oak barrels, 50% new. Ingredients: Organic grapes, water, yeast, sulfite. Not fined or fitered. At bottling: total sulfite 60 ppm, residual sugar 0.2 g/l (very dry).
2017 BÜNTER “NATUR” SYRAH, COOMBSVILLE, NAPA VALLEY. 100% Syrah, Estate bottled. 13.27% alcohol, 50 cases, $30. Organic grapes, 50% carbonic maceration. Subtle, delicious, complex, with superb balance and a structure that complements many foods, and never overwhelms the palate. Definitely different, but familiar enough that any red wine lover can embrace it. Ingredients: Organic grapes, water, sulfite. Not fined, not filtered. At bottling: total SO2 39 ppm, residual sugar <0.1 g/l (bone dry).
2012 SPRING RED WINE NAPA VALLEY 86% Cabernet Franc, 14% Petit Verdot. 13.80% Alc., 37 cases, $90 . This wine is at its peak, for those of you who want ripe fruit, tannin, and concentration, in an elegant but recognizably Napa Valley style. Ingredients: Grapes, water, yeast, tartaric acid, sulfur dioxide. Not fined, not filtered. At bottling: total SO2 85 ppm, residual sugar <0.1 g/l (bone dry). Steak wine, the fattier the better.
About sulfites: Most wines, especially young wines, naturally contain small amounts of sulfite, on the order of ten or so parts per million (ppm), as do the cells in your own body, as well as does a chicken egg. Because higher levels of sulfite are an effective preservative, additional sulfite is added to many foods, and to most wines. Exactly how much more varies widely. Most commercially available U.S. wines probably have around 100 to 150 parts per million measured as total sulfur dioxide, white wines generally having more added to them than reds. In the U.S. the legal limit is 350 ppm. Wines labeled “Certified Organic” are legally limited to no more than 10 ppm. Wines labeled “Made with Organic Grapes” are limited to 100 ppm. “Natural” wines are not regulated, other than if they contain more than 10 ppm the label must say “Contains Sulfites”, but in all these cases, the actual level need not be disclosed. The consensus (IF such a thing exists) among the Natural Wine crowd is the less the better. We get around the confusing labeling laws and bickering by stating what exactly the level of sulfite is in each of our wines.
Many of our wines are unfiltered. None of our wines are treated, as most commercial wines are, to prevent them from possibly precipitating cream of tartar if the wine is chilled below a certain temperature. Cream of tartar, used in baking, also called potassium bitartrate, is a crystalline salt of the tartaric acid that is naturally present in grapes. If you do chill our wine, and see white crystals, flakes, chunky or fine powder, they are harmless.
For our red wines, we recommend decanting. Decanting will aerate and “open” most young red wines, improving aroma and flavor. For older wines it allows you to separate the sediment from the wine, if you are careful. If not decanted, please handle the bottle gently and pour carefully, especially as you near the end of the bottle. In the case of wines older than about ten years, a double prong or AhSo, or air or gas injection needle style opener may be better than a screw with fragile, crumbly corks. Enjoy!