2016 Joyce Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Gabilan, Monterey County.
Russell Joyce’s up coming release, this Gabilan 2016 Pinot Noir, is a lovely sumptuous wine that looks set to be a beauty with easy open flavors, delicate complexity and satiny textures showing brilliant red fruits, light spices and a round forward medium body. I was able to taste this pre-release wine with winemaker and owner Russell Joyce at his new tasting room in Carmel Valley not far from where his dad first planted a home/estate vineyard from a famous French Bordeaux clone Merlot that set this winery in motion. A few years back Russell, a rising talent and who lists Greg Brewer (Brewer-Clifton & Diatom) and Josh Jensen (Calera) as heros and inspirations, took things over and has turned this small winery into one of the young gun stars of the region with an expanded array of regional wines, that includes a great set of Pinot Noir(s) as well as the estate Merlot along with a range of whites and a super fun Gamay/Grenache Rose. This is a winery to watch and their tasting room is one of the best destinations in the Carmel Valley Village with a beautiful patio setting, private rooms, a bocce court and tasty events almost weekly. The Gabilan Pinot starts with bright red berry, rose petal, flinty notes and shaved cinnamon stick leading to a silky palate of black cherry, juicy plum, mineral elements, framboise and saline with hints of polished French oak shadings. It lingers on and on, impressive for such a young wine, with lifted acidity and elegance. From the north side of the Salinas Valley, the Gabilan is from unique granite and loamy soils with a mix of clones including Swan, Calera, 667 and others, making for a subtlety intriguing terroir driven Pinot Noir that was partial whole cluster fermented and started with native yeast, but crafted with super clean and clear detail, you can see the restraint and focused approach throughout this well made wine. Drink this anytime, right on release, this is such an easy vintage to enjoy and is ready to go, though I see it aging well too, so it might be rewarding to put a few bottles away for 5 to 10 years, look for this one in the near future.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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