2015 Joyce Vineyards, Grenache, Ventana Vineyard, Arroyo Seco, Monterey County.
A wine that really delivers for the price, as do all of the new Joyce releases, this Ventana Vineyard Grenache 2015 from Russell Joyce is a full and deep Rhone style red that flows with lively pure Grenache fruit that fills out on the wide and ripe palate in a smooth and opulent fashion. Backed up with freshness, from natural acidity, mixed spices and light mineral tones this wine puts in a wonderful performance and is just coming out of it’s youthful shell, it reminds me of a Cotes Catalans (western Languedoc) or a Terra Alta Garnacha (north eastern Spain) with it’s rich texture, varietal focus, delicate floral elements and a dry port sexiness. Joyce’s new releases are an eye opening set of wines and show some the dynamism of the region and potential of this new generation of winemaking and winemakers in Monterey County, their new set of Pinots from the 2016 are gorgeous wines, especially the Gabilan, which looks to be legendary, certainly one of the best wines of the year, but their Cabernet, dry Riesling, steely Tondre Chardonnay, their Syrah and this Grenache should not be overlooked. In fact this Grenache followed that great Gabilan, and still it shined, it offers a full mouth of boysenberry, briar laced strawberry, cassis and morello cherry fruits gaining a nice plummy density without getting flabby or syrupy, lifted by pepper, cinnamon and subtle earthy/stoniness. Very polished and mildly tannic this should really continue to get better over the next 3 to 5 years in bottle, this dark seductive purple/garnet Joyce Ventana Vineyard Grenache gives a thrill for the buck, great also with flavorful cuisine and Holiday fare.
($25 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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