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2021 Clarice Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

2021 Clarice Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir


“The 2021 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands is a mix of the single vineyards and normally sees less new oak than the single vineyards. Bright berry fruits (cranberries, strawberries), wildflowers, sappy herbs, and assorted pretty, floral, peppery nuances all define the nose, and it’s medium-bodied on the palate, with a wonderfully pure, seamless mouthfeel, plenty of structure, and a great finish. Coming mostly from Rosella’s Vineyard (there’s also some Garys’ Vineyard in here) and only 25% destemmed, it spent 10 months in just over 60% new French oak.” – Jeb Dunnuck

Note: Shipping of wine is not available to the following states: AR, DE, HI, KY, MS, ND, NE, RI, SD, UT, VT, WV

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2021 Clarice Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 

By the Numbers

  • 62.5% Rosella’s Vineyard, 37.5% Garys’ Vineyard
  • 62.5% new French oak (3Francois Freres 3 year air dried VTG M toast, 2 Boutes Gran Reserve)
  • 75.71% whole cluster fermented
  • Non-inoculated primary and malolactic fermentation
  • 13.96% alcohol
  • 3.63 pH
  • 6.33 g/l TA

No Numbers…Just Words

The 2021 Clarice Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir is unique in two ways: First, this is the most new oak that has made it into a Clarice Appellation Designated Pinot Noir and, second, it is the first vintage that I recall that what is seemingly the most “impressive” vineyard-designated wine (the Garys’ Vineyard in 2021) made up the minority of the blend? What does this mean? It truly shows that the blending process we undertake in creating these wines is truly blind and democratic and that the goal of finding the best wine is achieved even when that blend ends up being a surprise. Having said all that, this might be my favorite Santa Lucia Highlands offering yet from Clarice as it shows a seamless texture and sense of balance between the two components. It truly fits in as a wine of grace and harmony, something I find incredibly appealing.