Home California Kunin Wines’ Reds: Grenache, Syrah, and Pape Star

Kunin Wines’ Reds: Grenache, Syrah, and Pape Star


Started in 1998 Kunin Wines remains today a boutique size and style winery situated in the Santa Barbara region of California. The founder, Seth Kunin, sources grapes from quality vineyards throughout the Central Coast region to produce wines from Viognier, Syrah, Grenache, Zinfandel, and GSM blends.

Kunin Wines Reds: 2008 Grenache, 2007 Syrah, 2010 Pape Star GSM

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Each of these wines from Kunin drinks as fresh, clean and well balanced now with a lovely potential for aging, and already a nicely developing, changing show in an evening of time in the glass.

Kunin Wines 2008 Grenache

The 2008 Grenache is a lovely food wine with bright acidity and red fruit, lightly drying tannin, balanced spice as well as hints of cola and metallic elements. There are touches of yeast bread here as well as light earth and leather. It would be beautiful alongside pork with berry compote toppings.

Much of Kunin’s Grenache is used for their GSM blend, the Pape Star, so it was a treat to taste it in their single varietal rendition from the Larnier vineyard in Ballard Canyon of Santa Ynez.

I tasted this with Katherine who suggested it would pair well with pork loin and berries stuffed with parsley, thyme, and juniper stuffing. Grenache is a classic pairing for pork, and this particular wine opens to show more herbal elements.

Kunin Wines 2007 Santa Barbara Syrah

The 2007 Syrah is blended from fruit of three different vineyards in Santa Barbara county, each offering cooler climate expressions of the grape.

Blackberry and raspberry show here also offering hints of their seed crunch flavor on the palate, with mixed pepper, touches of smoke and spice, and well balanced acidity to tannin. This is a fruit driven wine that opens into deeper notes with air. It shows as wonderfully clean and fresh on both the nose and mouth.

Kunin Wines 2010 Pape Star Grenache Syrah Mourvedre Blend

This GSM from Kunin, 2010 Pape Star, offers a blend that could serve both as a drinking and food wine. The blend is well executed and shows here with pleasing texture and light grip to the mouth, balanced with the mouthwatering acidity and a medium long finish. The nose carries spice, red fruit of cherry and berry, vanilla, light pepper and cinnamon, with the palate following.

This Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre blend is a wonderful example of how a wine can change thoroughly in the glass as it continues to open. The fruit deepens as the wine breathes taking on flavors of fig, with menthol and tobacco touches. The nose is rich here, and again shows more and more with a richness of detail being offered.

This is definitely a wine to enjoy over time. I’m also impressed by its good value; at $25 retail you get a lot for your money.


Thank you to Kunin Wines and Seth Kunin for sending these samples!

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