Russell Joyce, Arroyo Seco Vermentino
Russell Joyce, Arroyo Seco Vermentino

Russell Joyce, Arroyo Seco Vermentino

California / Monterey County, United States 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$30.00
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Russell Joyce, Arroyo Seco Vermentino

The Joyce family made its first foray into Central Coast wine when Francis Joyce planted vines on a Carmel Valley hillside in 1989. His son, Russell, grew up among those vines and has since become one of the premier interpreters of the Monterey County terroir. Russell Joyce works with an all-star roster of growers to source fruit for his 10,000-case production, and is currently planting more of his own estate vineyards (including some Vermentino in Arroyo Seco).

In 2021, Russell Joyce was given access to a plot of Vermentino just down the road from his own ranch in the Arroyo Seco AVA. The vines were planted in 1997 for pioneering vintner (and noted Italophile) Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon, so the raw material was impeccable. Soils in the site are a poor, rocky mixture based on decomposed granite.

Shining a pale straw-gold in the glass with silvery reflections, this could pass for a Vermentino from Italy’s Ligurian coastline. While still young and taut, its aromas are starting to blossom: notes of wild herbs, sea salt, white grapefruit, green apple, and lemon balm carry over to the medium-bodied palate, which has a slightly “phenolic” (i.e. tannic) quality. Textbook seafood wine!

Russell Joyce, Arroyo Seco Vermentino

United States


Columbia Valley

Like many Washington wines, the “Columbia Valley” indication only tells part of the story: Columbia Valley covers a huge swath of Central
Washington, within which are a wide array of smaller AVAs (appellations).


Willamette Valley

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has become an elite winegrowing zone in record time. Pioneering vintner David Lett, of The Eyrie Vineyard, planted the first Pinot Noir in the region in 1965, soon to be followed by a cadre of forward-thinking growers who (correctly) saw their wines as America’s answer to French
Burgundies. Today, the Willamette
Valley is indeed compared favorably to Burgundy, Pinot Noir’s spiritual home. And while Pinot Noir accounts for 64% of Oregon’s vineyard plantings, there are cool-climate whites that must not be missed.


Santa Barbara

Among the unique features of Santa Barbara County appellations like Ballard Canyon (a sub-zone of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA), is that it has a cool, Pacific-influenced climate juxtaposed with the intense luminosity of a southerly
latitude (the 34th parallel). Ballard Canyon has a more north-south orientation compared to most Santa Barbara AVAs, with soils of sandy
clay/loam and limestone.


Paso Robles

Situated at an elevation of 1,600 feet, it is rooted in soils of sandy loam and falls within the Highlands District of the Paso Robles AVA.

New York

North Fork

Wine growers and producers on Long Island’s North Fork have traditionally compared their terroir to that of Bordeaux and have focused on French varieties such as Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

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