Kunin Wines was started in 1998 by Seth Kunin who chose to focus on Rhône and Loire Valley varietals. That means he works primarily with Grenache, Syrah, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. Sixteen years later Kunin makes eleven different wines and only a total of 5,000 cases. With such small production, it’s much easier to pay attention to detail.
The 2012 Pape Star is lighter than a traditional style of Châteauneuf. It has a great peppery quality that I enjoy. Not particularly robust, but velvety. Most Châteauneuf are made in a very age-worthy style; that is to say, most Châteauneuf is best drunk after 3-5 years. This gives the flavors time to integrate and balance out. Pape Star, however, is much more approachable and drinks well now. In addition to the pepper notes, there are some nice strawberry flavors and just a hint of chocolate as well which is quite pleasant. Don’t believe me? The best way to find out is to try for yourself. Find the closest bottle at wine-searcher.com. And you can find out more about Kunin at their website and by following them on twitter.