2001 Kunin Syrah Alisos Vineyards


Kunin’s 2001 Syrah Alisos Vineyards is an eye-opening wine. Still wonderfully fresh at age twenty, the 2001 impresses with its soaring floral/spice aromatics and vibrant, dark red-toned fruit. The 2001 was sourced from Block 6 at Alisos Vineyards, an exposed hillside parcel at the southeast corner of the vineyard planted with Estrella clone Syrah. It was done in open top wood fermenters, with fully destemmed fruit, and spent 10 months in French and American oak, about 30% new. “Seth wanted to show how well Santa Barbara Syrah could age using a minimalist approach in the vineyard and cellar,” his widow Magan Eng told me a few months ago. Judging by the 2001, he certainly succeeded.

Even though I have long believed Syrah is the most suitable variety for certain regions in Santa Barbara, it is not often I have a chance to taste older vintages, as most of these wines are enjoyed within a few years of release. Seth Kunin’s 2001 Syrah Alisos Vineyards is a vivid testament to the legacy of a winemaker whose career was tragically cut short by his unexpected passing a few years ago at age 50. 94/2021-2026.

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