As in the previous two vintages, the 2019 Clarice Wine Company Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir originates in two disparate sections of the Garys’ Vineyard, one located near the bottom of the vineyard and the other near the very top. Despite their differences these sections were sampled, harvested and fermented together in hopes of producing a more complex wine. Harvest was on September 14, 2019 and, after a 8 day cold soak, the must was allowed to warm and the juice fermented without inoculation. During this cold soak period, approximately 20 percent of the juice was bled off to concentrate the must. Malolactic fermentation was also spontaneous. Ultimately, a strict barrel selection was completed with only 62.5% of the barrels making the final blend. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration.
“I loved the 2019 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard. It’s a rich, backward, relatively closed wine that’s going to blossom with another 2-3 years of bottle age. Giving up Gevrey-Chambertin like notes of smoked black fruits, pomegranate, violets, spiced meats, iron, and leafy herbs, it’s medium to full-bodied and has a beautiful mid-palate, building tannins, and a solid spine of acidity. It has plenty of ripeness and is certainly a California Pinot Noir, with beautiful fruit and purity. It needs a healthy decant if drinking any time soon, and it’s going to hit prime time in another 2-4 years and have a solid decade of prime drinking. It’s a gorgeous wine.”
Like Adam, the 2019 is the first vintage in which I’ve preferred the Gary’s Vineyard to the Rosella’s Vineyard. The nose is a moving target at the moment with extended air exposure adding and subtracting in waves. The most consistent aromas include Bing cherry, mountain strawberry, lavender, black plum, weathered leather, and black currant. It is medium bodied with smooth, lush, and long tannin that parallels juicy, bright acid. The elegant and weightless structure dazzles right now. The flavor profile includes Bing cherry, blood orange, cranberry sauce, cardamom, and black pepper. It feels like the tannins are elevated at the moment, waiting to drop and broaden with some age. Very accessible for such a substantial wine at the moment, I can see this entering a dumb phase within the year that might last two or three years before emerging a weightier, more layered version of itself. 95 points.