2018 Joyce Wine Company, Dry Riesling “Alluvial Fan” Monterey County.
The lovely and bright new Alluvial Fan Dry Riesling from Joyce Wine Company is more flamboyant in fruit and mouth feel than the previous vintage with this 2018 adding a bit more of a textural element and has a slight touch of residual sugar, making more like a modern Feinherb, but still technically dry and crunchy. This was done on purpose as the last vintage came across a touch too severe and Joyce wanted a little less zip and more class (balance) on the palate. Russell Joyce, winemaker, who is a big Riesling geek himself admires the wines of Gunter Kuntsler from the Rheingau, and Schlossgut Diel’s Caroline Diel from the Nahe, among others, wanted to make his Riesling standout and be exciting in the glass.
This new vintage certainly feels more expressive and exotic on the palate, he chose to ferment in stainless steel to preserve ultra fresh detail, but he also aged some in neutral cask along with some in stainless barrels to build some mouth feel and make this high acid wine more generous in nature, all which was successful in the final makeup here, much the same way he was with his Albarino in this vintage. Again while technically dry in style, much less sweet than a Kabinett, the tiny bit of sugar allows for this Riesling to have that hint of creaminess you can find in Alsace examples.
The profile here, has real Riesling core, and while retaining some of the bitter citrus, green melon and unripe (green) apple of the 2017 adds a whole new level of complexity and dimension with layers of kiwi, peach, tropical fruits (passionfruit/papaya) and key lime fruit along with wet stone, chalk and racy herbs. I look forward to following this 2018 Alluvial Fan Dry Riesling over the next 6 months to a year in bottle too see how it develops, but I love the way it tastes now, it will be a fun food wine, especially with spicy shrimp dishes, sushi as well as cheeses and cured meats.
Joyce who is more known for his line of Monterey County Pinot Noir(s) as well as his Tondre Grapefield Syrah and Carmel Valley estate grown Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon and Petrus Clone Merlot) has a good touch with his whites, you should not miss his Old Vine Chenin Blanc, his Escolle Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay, the mentioned Albarino and this Dry Riesling, they are all tasty efforts that are real quality wines that deliver much more than is expected, especially these 2018’s, which is one of the best vintages locally (Monterey and Central Coast) I’ve ever seen. This 2018 is available by request now and will be publicly released on March 24, 2019, don’t miss it.
($24 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive