St. Louis native, Anthony Yount was studying agricultural finance at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo when he stumbled upon some very memorable wines in the tasting room at Denner Vineyards in Paso Robles on his 21st birthday. Four years later, he returned to the property for an internship and after graduating in 2007, took a job working nearby for Cris Cherry's Villa Creek winery. Although Villa Creek was all about red wine, Yount developed a curiosity about white varietals, mostly to prove to his father (a red wine only kind of guy) that he could make interesting and balanced whites that he could enjoy. When some Grenache Blanc became available, and Cherry offered some Roussanne from the famed James Berry vineyard nearby, Yount couldn’t resist trying his hand at his own label. Thus, ‘Kinero Cellars’ was born in 2008, focusing on white Rhône varietals from prime vineyards in the foothills of Paso Robles. Yount still makes the wines for Denner Vineyards yet relishes in the creative freedom that his own side label allows him. His Kinero wines benefit from early picking, the use of feral or ‘native yeasts’ and whole cluster fermentation in various vessels including large Hungarian oak barrels and concrete eggs. While California Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc can easily be out of balance or masked with too much oak, Yount produces beautiful, vibrant and nuanced expressions of these grapes.
This 100% Grenache Blanc exhibits wonderful freshness in part due to the fruit being sourced from the Templeton Gap District, one of the coolest and windiest pockets of Paso Robles. Yount ages the wine in a concrete egg for 5 months which “preserves the purity of the fruit while turning up the volume on the character.” The resulting wine is oozing with aromas of honeysuckle, jasmine, meyer lemon and peaches ‘n cream. There is a pleasant roundness to the medium-bodied palate and a lush and creamy texture, yet a vibrant acidity provides balance and tension. More stone fruit notes emerge on the mid-palate including bruised red apple, ripe asian pear and quince and follow through to the very long and candied lemon-tinged finish.