BUNTER SPRING WINERY — CURRENT RELEASES
2019 SPRING SAUVIGNON BLANC “OYSTER WINE”, SANTA CRUZ 12.16% alcohol, 48 cases, $20/bottle. Our 2019 continues the series of standout wines from this vineyard, which we began using in 2014. Barrel fermented and aged six months in older “neutral” French barrels. Totally dry, light-bodied, tart, with subtle aromas of citrus, nectarine, and dried grass. This wine was literally made for oysters on the half-shell. It’s also great with goat cheese, or alone as an aperitif or refreshing thirst-quencher. Ingredients: grapes, water, yeast, sulfite. Filtered, not fined. At bottling: total sulfite 39 ppm, residual sugar <0.1 g/l (totally dry).
2017/2019 SPRING CHARDONNAY/PINOT GRIS, MONTEREY 13.06% alcohol, 25 cases, $30/bottle. Yes, two vintages, two varieties, one charming little wine. “How?!”, you ask. It literally is a long story, best undertaken with glass in hand. No, it was not a simple blending or topping accident, but in fact, entailed many hours of extra labor and anxiety. All’s well that ends well. Modest alcohol, soft acidity, pleasing fruit and gentle balance make this endlessly quaffable, with or without food. Ingredients: grapes, yeast, tartaric acid, sulfite. Filtered, not fined. At bottling: total SO2 91 ppm, residual sugar 0.1 g/l (totally dry).
2018 SPRING RESERVE CHARDONNAY, MONTEREY COUNTY 14.43% alcohol, 25 cases, $35/bottle. This wine is fuller bodied and has a more powerful flavor and mouthfeel than our “regular” Chard, but since that’s sold out, you have to take our word for it. Pear, yellow apple, edamami, with an unctuous texture. Ingredients: grapes, yeast, sulfur dioxide. Not fined, not filtered. At bottling: total SO2 90 ppm, residual sugar 0.5 g/l (not totally 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.
2019 SPRING ROSÉ MONTEREY “Snow globe” 12.34% alc., 50 cases, $20 Made from Grenache and Syrah, grown on a rocky sunbaked hillside in far southern Monterey county, picked expressly for rosé. Beautiful pale color, high-toned aroma. It has an excess of totally harmless cream of tartar that precipitates in white flakes when refrigerated. For fun, chill it, turn it upside down, and watch it snow! Ingredients: grapes, yeast, tartaric acid. Fined with milk and silica dioxide, then filtered. At bottling: 58 ppm total sulfite, 0.4 g/L residual sugar (dry).
2018 SPRING PINOT NOIR HILLTOP RANCH CARMEL VALLEY 13.68% alcohol, 107 cases, $30. In one of the many examples of AVA nonsense, this vineyard, a mile outside Carmel Valley Village, isn’t in the Carmel Valley AVA, although vineyards ten miles away, in neighboring Cachagua valley, are. So legally it’s not Carmel Valley wine, it’s Monterey wine. Whatever. It is VERY easy-drinking, medium bodied, perfectly balanced, with lots of varietal fruit and a distinctive spicy character from custom-coopered French oak barrels. Ingredients: grapes, water, yeast , 60 ppm total sulfite. Not fined, reverse osmosis filtered. At bottling: total SO2 60 ppm, residual sugar 0.5g/L (dry).
2018 SPRING PINOT NOIR “ANNETTE’S” SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS 14.53% alcohol, 123 cases, $35. The grapes came from famed Tondré Grapefield, the wine was fermented by our longtime winemaker friend Annette Hoff, selected, blended, aged, filtered and bottled by us. In an example of the vagaries of small-production winemaking, Annette lost her job and we lost our Monterey production space in the same debacle. When the owner who employed her, who housed us, passed away, his heirs pulled the plug on the winery. The upshot: Annette soon got another gig, we got evicted, but picked up some unexpected Tondré Pinot Noir. Big, deep, the bookend to the Hilltop Pinot above. Very varietal, ripe, warm and fuzzy. 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).
SPRING 2017 CABERNET FRANC, CARMEL VALLEY Organic grapes 86% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon 14.34% alcohol, 48 cases, $35/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! Super ripe red fruit flavors with a whiff of lavender and spice. 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).
SPRING 2017 COWBOY SURFER, MONTEREY COUNTY 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Cabernet Sauvignoon 13.74% alcohol, 49 cases, $30/bottle. Our second iteration of this outrageous blend of normally antithetical varieties. The first Cowboy Surfer, 2014, was a resigned wishful last resort use for a barrel of weird Pinot. People loved it! When it was gone they asked for more. Not so easy, it turned out- there’s a reason why no one blends these two. The result almost always tastes like either a pathetically weak Cab or a nasty hot puckery Pinot. It took three years, but we finally made two wines that worked. FYI the Pinot, from close to the beach, is the surfer. The Cab, from cow country high up in the hills, is the cowboy. Black cherry, raspberry, spice, and tannin, just slightly on the aggro side right now, will mellow into a very laid-back ride. Ingredients: grapes, water, yeast, sulfite. Not fined or fitered. At bottling: total sulfite 65 ppm, residual sugar 0.1 g/l (very dry).
SPRING 2016 CABERNET FRANC, MONTEREY COUNTY 87% Cabernet Franc, 13% Petit Verdot 13.24% alcohol, 58 cases, $25/bottle. Monterey County is vast. Much of it is too cool to ripen Bordeaux varieties well. This fruit was grown in the south, not far from Paso Robles, where it’s warm. A medium-full bodied, perfectly balanced wine, easy to drink and a good match for subtle or complexly flavored dishes that might be overwhelmed by a big jammy Cab. It tastes of red cherries, and the Petit Verdot supplied some nice texture. Vibrant and juicy. Ingredients: grapes, water, yeast, tartaric acid, sulfite. Not fined or fitered. At bottling: total sulfite 60 ppm, residual sugar 0.2 g/l (very dry).
SPRING 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CALISTOGA, NAPA VALLEY, 13.76% alcohol, 24 cases, $60/bottle. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, organically grown. Our friend Ed Lantz grew this 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 22 months in French and 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. Which is why we are planting our own Napa Cab! Ingredients: organic grapes, water, yeast, sulfite. Not fined or filtered. At bottling: total sulfites 70 ppm, residual sugar 0.1 g/l (totally dry).
SPRING 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, 13.27% alcohol, 73 cases, $18/bottle. “Burger Wine” Organically grown. Contra Costa is a great place for Zin, Petite Sirah, and Carignane. It’s not well known for Cab, so we got a sweet deal on this fruit, and so do you. We treated it with the same respect as all our wines, including nice once-used French oak barrels. Medium bodied, soft tannins, juicy blackberry taste, perfect with burgers. It’s vegan, so veggie burgers work too. Ingredients: organic grapes, water, yeast, tartaric acid, sulfite. Filtered, not fined. Made using reverse osmosis. At bottling: total sulfites 88 ppm, residual sugar 0.3 g/l (dry).
SPRING 2016 COSTA PASO RED BLEND, 60% Primitivo,25% Petite Sirah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. 13.7% alcohol, 100 cases, $18/bottle. “Pizza Wine” Half from Contra Costa, half from Paso Robles, this is the jammier, spicier partner to our Burger Wine. You can drink this with about anything, or nothing at all, but it’s really good with pizza and spicy pasta. Aged ten months in American oak. Ingredients: grapes, water, yeast, tartaric acid, sulfite. Filtered, not fined. Made using reverse osmosis. At bottling: total sulfite 77 ppm, residual sugar 0.3 g/l (dry).
2016 HIPPIE SYRAH, NAPA VALLEY. 100% Syrah. 13.35% alcohol, 45 cases, $25. Made with organic grapes. Here, the ‘wild’ yeast really went feral, turning our peaceful little anti-establishment organic fermentation into something like a rampaging acid-fueled riot. We had to add a little sulfite and then filter the wine to save it from becoming something only a totally stoned commune would consider drinking. In the end, it was all groovy, if slightly far out. To honor and illustrate its nature, it got a special name and label.” Ingredients: Organic grapes, sulfite. Reverse osmosis filtered, not fined. At bottling: total sulfite 45 ppm, residual sugar 0.2 g/l (dry).
2014 BÜNTER “NATUR” SYRAH, COOMBSVILLE, NAPA VALLEY. 100% Syrah, Estate bottled. 13.27% alcohol, 100 cases, $30. Organic. No added sulfites. Earthy, meaty, slightly spicy, slightly floral, with medium full body, good natural acidity, and rich tannins. Goes great with very spicy (hot) food, as usual for this wine. It actually cools and soothes your mouth after a bite of anything painfully spicy. The texture and mouthfeel are superb. The aroma and flavor are typical of no-sulfite reds: less fruity, more earthy. Definitely different. Ingredients: Organic grapes. Not fined, not filtered. At bottling: total SO2 2 ppm, residual sugar <0.1 g/l (bone dry).
2012 SPRING RED WINE NAPA VALLEY “GARAGITAGE”. 86% Cabernet Franc, 14% Petit Verdot. 13.80% Alc., 37 cases, $90 . This wine is just now entering its ideally drinkable phase. It may be the best red wine on the list, 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.
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. Enjoy!