Adam Lee continues on a roll with his Clarice wines. The 2019 vintage produced somewhat riper and earthier wines than previously, but all three are first-rate and tasting great. As in our review of the 2018 vintage, we found it difficult to identify which of the trio we liked best. Readers will note, we have rated the Garys’ Vineyard and Rosella Vineyard Pinot Noirs slightly higher than the Santa Lucia Highlands blend, However, you be the judge. If you are a Clarice Family Member you will have the chance to compare these three lovely bottlings. If you haven’t become a member yet, now is your opportunity. Our assessment of the wines follows.
Clarice 2019 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 93 The 2019 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands displays a medium dark ruby hue and aromas of tart pomegranate and plum with earthy notes. A blend of grapes from both Garys’ Vineyard and the Rosella Vineyard, it is intensely flavored and layered with a silky palate of dark berry fruit, minerals and earth. It displays firm round tannins and a persistent finish. 14.4 alc
Clarice 2019 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands 93 The 2019 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard displays a medium dark ruby hue and offers aromas and flavors of spicy ripe pomegranate/plum fruit with distinct underbrush and earthy notes. On the palate it reveals good concentration, round firm tannins, and excellent balance. Slightly bolder in character than the Pinot Noir from the Rosella Vineyard, it offers noteworthy and sustaining richness on the finish. 14.1 alc
Clarice 2019 Pinot Noir Rosella Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County 94 The Pinot Noir Rosella Vineyard is a bit lighter on the nose than Garys’ but exhibits nice spice. It is full on the palate with concentrated red cherry fruit. Quite refined in character and pure with light earth notes. It also has a lush texture and bright fruit on the palate with very good acidity. 14.4 alc