2018 The Royal Nonesuch Farm, Red Wine, York Mountain AVA, Paso Robles.
With loads of ripe fruit intensity and full of bright energy, capturing the best assets of the 2018 vintage this totally new wine to me is a thrill on the full bodied Grenache led palate with black raspberry, plum, pomegranate, candied cherry and spiced strawberry fruits, along with cinnamon, peppery notes, anise and cedary wood. The Royal Nonesuch Farm red is an intriguing Paso Rhone hybrid with 67% Grenache Noir, 18% Syrah, 14% Graciano, the rare Rioja varietal that is showing huge promise in the region, and 1% Clairette Blanche, the white grape that is the secret sauce of many stellar Chateauneuf du Pape Blancs and a component of Cassis Blanc in Provence. The Royal Nonesuch Farm estate does a very limited bottling of white too, 100% Clairette Blanche, that looks interesting and will be on my radar, along with this dark garnet and ruby hued red wine that grew on me while it was in the glass, gaining a touch of savory elements, floral tones and satiny tannin. Owners, Hillary and Anthony Yount, are new to the scene and started with their 2016 releases, but have followed the likes of Saxum, Linne Calodo, Epoch, Booker, Torrin and the Ledge in winemaking style.

The Royal Nonesuch Farm vineyard, founded by the Yount family, is 1,800 feet above the Pacific ocean between the towns of Cambria and Templeton, in the York Mountain AVA of Paso Robles and has, as the Yount’s say, an incredibly diverse set of soils, with an underpinning of limestone, clay, and sand, which very much flavors the own rooted bush vine Grenache that is their main planting here. For this singular estate wine they went with a mix of old world and modern winemaking with a focus on transparency and the hope of showing off the terroir and capturing the hedonism and textural richness of the Grenache. For this one, the Grenache, Syrah, Graciano and the tiny amount of Clairette Blanche is mostly co-fermentted and saw indigenous yeast primary after a seven day cold soak with close to 30% whole cluster in cement vats and large foude. The must got 13 days of maceration with rigorous punch downs and pump overs before being racked to a combination of big French oak 500L casks and Hungarian oak for a full 20 moths with just about 10% new wood. The Yount family has 7.5-acres planted to a mix of Grenache, Graciano, Syrah and Clairette at their estate which sees warm days and cool Ocean breezes that helps promote balance in the wines, with this 2018 being about 14.5% natural alcohol and making for a more food friendly wine.
($55 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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