2015 Joyce Vineyards, Syrah, Tondre Grapefield, Santa Lucia Highlands.
The quaffable and elegantly framed 2015 Joyce Vineyards Syrah Tondre Grapefield is a lush and spicy red that has satiny texture and lingering length with a light feeling medium cool climate palate. Russell Joyce and crew used about 20% whole cluster and a 4 to 5 day cold soak maceration is this beauty with native yeasts and raised using only neutral French oak, aged on the lees for 13 months then bottled unfined and unfiltered, making this a lovely and pure wine, maybe one of best wines I’ve tasted from this vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, grown on gravel, loam, sand and granite. The nose is pretty and lightly perfumed with crushed violets, peppery sage and minty herb along with mure liqueur and blueberry tart leading to a dense, but energy filled mouth with boysenberry, kirsch, savory salty anise, stones and cured meat as well as faint cedar, damson plum, lavender and cinnamon. Gains a bit of weight with air, without heaviness, and finishes long and ripe, the warm vintage adds to the refined tannins, at 14.2% it is not shy, but it shows a more delicate nature than the number and year would suggest, this is a wonderful effort from Joyce and this wine delivers a lot for the money, and according to winemaker Russell Joyce the 2016 looks even better! There’s an excitement growing around this winery and the current lineup is impressive, especially the Pinots and the dry Riesling, but don’t overlook this stylish Syrah, available at their beautiful new tasting room in the Carmel Valley Village.
($24 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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