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TomHill

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WTN: Clarice/Moret-Brealynn PinotNoir '22....(short/boring)

by TomHill » Fri Dec 01, 2023 3:10 pm

We tried last night at Laura's Pig+Fig 5 new PinotNoirs '22:
1. Moret-Brealynn PinotNoir StrayDogs SonomaCoast/SonomaCnty (14.5%; www.MoretBrealynnWines.com) GrandCruCustomCrush/Windsor 2022: Dark color; strong bright cherry/black cherry/PN quite spicy some pencilly/toasty/Fr.oak rather complex lovely/perfumed nose; fairly tart strong cherry/black cherry/PN modest toasty/pencilly/oak slight earthy bit Burgundian/smokey slight c-c/peppery lovely balanced/perfumed flavor w/ modest gentle tannins; very long/lingering bright cherry/PN finish that reflects flavor; a really lovely fairly complex very balanced bit Burgundian expression of PN. $nc (M-B)/$50.00
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2. Moret-Brealynn PinotNoir RRV/SC (14.4%) 2022: Dark color; strong black cherry/black cherry cola/PN deeper bit earthy some pencilly/oak quite complex lovely perfumed nose; lightly tart stronger black cherry/black cherry cola bit earthy/Burgundian light toasty/pencilly/oak fairly structured rather complex flavor w/ stronger gentle tannins; very long/lingering finish that mimics flavor; very similar in style to #1 but a bit more depth & broadness on the palate; speaks strongly of RRV PN; a beautiful expression of Pinot. $nc (M-B )/$50.00
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3. Clarice PinotNoir SantaLuciaHighlands/MontereyCnty (13.0%; www.ClariceWineCompany.com) ClariceWineCompany/SantaRosa 2022: Dark color; strong black cherry/PN/bit herbal/peppery/SLH light toasty/pencilly/oak some complex lovely nose; fairly tart/tangy rather rich/structured strong black cherry/PN/bit floral light herbal/peppery very balanced flavor w/ some smooth tannins; very long/lingering finish mimics the flavor; loads of lush PN fruit w/ the herbal/peppery character that speaks strongly of SLH Pinot; a lovely balanced/complex expression of SLH Pinot that resembles the Gary's & Rosella's but not quite as intense. $nc (AL)/$95.00
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4. Clarice PinotNoir Garys' Vnyd/ SantaLuciaHighlands/MontereyCnty (13.1%) 2022: Very dark color; bit heavier/earthy more intense black cherry/black cherry cola/PN/bit herbal/peppery/quite spicy bit more ripe/pure/PN less SLH PN fairly complex quite perfumed nose; rather tart/tangy strong black cherry/PN/black cherry cola modest pencilly/Fr.oak complex/balanced lightly herbal flavor w/ ample smooth/ripe tannins; very long/lingering finish that mirrors flavor; not quite as distinctive SLH PN and more pure PN in character; a beautiful balanced lush/ripe PN that can benefit from more age. $nc (AL)/$98.00
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5. Clarice PinotNoir Rosella'sVnyd SantaLuciaHighlands/MontereyCnty (13.7%) 2022: Dark color; bit more intense PN/black cherry/black cherry cola very spicy bit more herbal/peppery modest pencilly/Fr.oak bit more complex/perfumed nose; fairly tart/tangy some strong pencilly/Fr.oak strong black cherry/PN/black cherry cola fairly herbal/peppery quite spicy balanced fairly complex flavor w/ fairly strong ripe/smooth tannins; very similar to the Gary's but a bit more herbal/SLH character & a bit stronger oak signature; a beautiful/balanced classic SLH PN that needs more age. $nc (AL)/$98.00
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More piddletock from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. I've followed AdamLee from the very start when he founded SiduriWnry in SantaRosa in 1994. He sold the wnry to JacksonFamily Vnyds a number of yrs ago, but remained on as winemaker for a number of yrs. Siduri specialized in PinotNoir wines, but branched out into Rhone varietals under the Novy label. Back in the day, my group bought a fair amount of Siduri Pinots because they were very reasonably priced, especial the basic AVA versions. Plus every month they would put up a strongly discounted Pinot that our group would jump all over. And they were very fond of the Novy Rhones because they were very attractively priced.
Once Siduri was sold to JacksonFamily, Siduri sort of fell off our radar. Not because there was a decline in quality or philosophical objections to dealing w/ corporate ownership, but they just stopped offering the monthly bargain sales of the Pinots. After about three yrs working w/ Siduri after the sale, Adam went on to form Clarice Winery, again specializing in PinotNoir, mostly from the SantaLuciaHighlands. For no particular reason, I did not follow Adam to his effort w/ Clarice.
Adam also produces a SantaBarbaraCnty Pinot under the Babs Dial Tone label. It is a value priced Pinot and a very solid expression of SBC Pinot.
Several weeks ago, Adam reached out to me and wanted to send me some of his Clarice wines to share w/ my group. Plus two of the M-B Pinots as well. So these notes reflect the samples he sent to us to try.
I was mightly impressed by Moret's Pinots. They have lots of depth and complexity. They have plenty of intensity but are not at all overly extracted. Although they are fairly drinkable & ready to go, I suspect their balance will allow them to age into very special mature Pinots. And I think the prices are very reasonable for their quality.
Wasn't quite sure what to expect from the Clarice PN's. They were distinctly different from what Adam did at Siduri. All three were cast from the same mold and really not strikingly different. I would be more than happy drink any of these three. I very slightly preferred the Rosella's for its greater intensity & complexity. Adam, at Siduri, was one of the early advocates for SantaLucia Pinot. These three are probably as fine a Pinot from SLH that I can recall. He's got the region nailed.
I seldom buy high-end Calif Pinots in the Clarice price range. Probably only the Drew and the Failla ones. What struck me about the Clarice Pinots was not the intensity of PN fruit they showed, though that was there, but the balance & the complexity. More so than I get in the young Drew & Failla. They were very good drinking now, but I think the balance they show should take them out for 4-8 yrs. But I just don't have the experience w/ Clarice & that's only a guess.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to try Adam's Clarice. They are as fine as any, maybe better, than any high-end Calif Pinots that I've had. And I don't think the Clarice Pinots are over-priced relative to other Calif primo Pinots.
Tom
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Clarice/Moret-Brealynn PinotNoir '22....(short/bori

by Jenise » Sat Dec 02, 2023 7:10 am

Tom, for once I have the edge on you "from the very start". I knew Adam from the early Compuserve wine board, back when there was only CS and AOL. Private chats were enabled there and I was able to have some late night discussions about his dreams of making pinot noir--he was working for Benziger, IIRC, at the time. He wanted to be the next William Selyam. So when he made his first pinot, I think it was only one barrel, from Anderson Valley's Cerise Vineyard fruit, I was able to secure a six-pack. To get them, I had to wait while they designed and applied the Siduri labels you know today. It was easily the best domestic PN I'd ever tasted--not that I'd had them all.

...so now he has Clarice. My understanding at the beginning was that it was going to be a members-only thing. Not just allocation but some kind of club-like situation with a fee and a set limit on members. Very exclusive, no regular retail. I'm friends with him on FB but haven't asked if he stuck with that, nor have I seen him refer to anything similar. I presume you know?

Lucky you to get to sample all those and his fiancee's wines, too.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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