Another exciting project from winemaker Andrew Yount, known for producing noteworthy white wines under his Kinero label (currently featured in our February White Wine Monthly Club). He and his wife own and operate Royal Nonesuch in the York Mountains AVA of Paso Robles. Nine years ago, they purchased a tiny piece of property high up in the Santa Lucia range in this historic, rugged, and almost forgotten appellation. Their first vines were planted in 2013 — own rooted, bushvine Grenache. Situated at 1800 feet above the Pacific ocean between the towns of Cambria and Templeton, this little vineyard boasts an incredibly diverse set of soil profiles, including: rocky limestone, clay, and sand. Rainfall is almost 4-times that of the nearby town of Paso Robles, allowing the Younts to dry farm many of the young vines. They call it the Royal Nonesuch Farm, as “a reference to the great “tragedy” of Huckleberry Finn and a constant reminder to never take ourselves too seriously.”
The extreme weather, diverse soils and steep topography create unforgiving farming conditions and minuscule yields — yet deliver incredibly intense and character driven fruit. Andrew showcases the uniqueness of his vineyard by being as light-handed and transparent as possible in the winery — co-fermenting when possible, lots of whole cluster fermentations, native yeast, and a mix of concrete and large format neutral oak aging.
Today The Royal Nonesuch Farm has 7-acres planted to a mix of Grenache, Graciano, Syrah and Clairette Blanche. They only make one wine—a blend of everything that they grow—their way of allowing the vineyard to speak louder than the winemaking. They don’t make very much wine (just 327 cases last year), and never will, but what they do make is unique, complex and elegant. Three generations of the Yount family now call this place home, raising their livestock, and growing fruits and vegetables. For this and so many other reasons they never use herbicides, fertilizers, or pesticides on the farm.
100% Estate grown, this wine is a blend of 67% Grenache, 18% Syrah, 14% Graciano, and 1% Clairette. The grapes were cold-soaked for 7 days with twice daily pump-overs, then fermented with wild yeasts in concrete tanks and foudre with twice-daily pumpovers for 17 days total maceration. Fermented 60% whole cluster, aged for 20 months in 500L barrels, 10% new Hungarian oak, and bottled without fining or filtration.
Deep purple with a magenta rim, and a heady aroma of spice and dark fruit. The palate reflects the nose with blackberry, blueberry, and ripe black plum. The acid is well balanced with a firm tannic structure and lingering, spicy finish. Perfectly focused and in spite of its power a very graceful wine.