2017 Joyce Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Submarine Canyon, Monterey County.
This new vintage of Submarine Canyon Pinot Noir from Russell Joyce at Monterey’s Joyce Vineyards is a truly stunning wine, it will absolutely thrill everyone who that tastes it, seriously it is gorgeous Pinot Noir that takes the beautiful clean California fruit and marries it with a sense of delicacy, elegance, mineral tone and subtle complexity that seems inspired by Burgundy. I hailed Joyce’s 2016 wines as next level wines, and certainly there are, but after tasting through a few samples of these upcoming 2017’s, I am sure we are going to be having this conversation again, as they are wonderfully brilliant and pure wines, especially his new Carmel Valley, Massa Estate Chenin Blanc and this ridiculously good Submarine Canyon Pinot Noir, which honestly might be the best value in California I’ve tasted in recent years. Right away you’ll notice the great new packaging and label design for these Joyce 2017’s with the Submarine Canyon Pinot Noir getting the vivid red label, and the wine also gets a more vivid look with a bright ruby/garnet shine in the glass and an exceptional cool climate perfume lifts out of the bowl with an array of pretty rose florals, red fruits and light flinty/stones, which leads to a palate influenced by it’s maritime teroirs and sites that have a mix a ancient glacial soils consisting of sand, broken shales, loam and veins of granite as well as chalky rock that all combine to create an intriguing set of flavors and sublime structural form. layers of strawberry, briar laced raspberry, tangy red currant, wild plum and a core of dusty black cherry fruits that unfold with a luxurious silken texture, everything is heightened in the mouth with balanced acidity and a touch of saline, the flavors are seamless and seemingly endless adding lavender sprigs, red peach, tea spices, a touch of cinnamon and amazingly faint sensation of neutral French barrique. What’s in the bottle here could easily sell for twice the price, and no one would blink, this wine is that impressive, Russell has found his groove and this is an exciting Pinot Noir crafted with clarity, presence and refinement, he used only used barrels to highlight the vintage’s near perfect expression of purity, fermenting the separate lots with native yeasts and gentile macerations and with a minority getting a small amount of whole cluster in this cuvee. Joyce, who is a student of his craft, has been getting better with each vintage and the wines show his growth as a winemaker and his passion, he says he has been inspired by many talents, including Greg Brewer, formally of Melville, who crafts the iconic Brewer-Clifton wines, who also uses only used wood, and you can see that clearly in this wine, but Joyce’s own style is present as well. Monterey is a hot bed of excitement right now as this new group of young winemaker emerge from the generational shadows that had been holding this region back, with some incredible wines breaking through here by guys like Russell Joyce, along with talents like Samuel Smith (Morgan Winery) and Ian Brand (La Marea & I. Brand & Family), to name just a few, who are redefining what Monterey can do. The 2017 Joyce Vineyards Submarine Canyon Pinot Noir is medium bodied, gracefully satiny, vividly focused and shows fine detail, kudos to Joyce’s team for putting out such a quality product at this price, it’s a steal, drink it over the next 3 to 5 years!
($24 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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