2021 Lucia by Pisoni, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvée, Santa Lucia Highlands.
The latest release of Lucia Pinot, coming from the Pisoni, Garys’, and Soberanes estate vineyards, is the 2021 appellation-based Santa Lucia Highlands Estate Cuvée, which was formerly known as the SLH bottling, and it perfectly captures the vintage and place with rich stony layers of dark fruits, spice, energy and length, making it an absolutely delicious, especially satisfying while admiring the beautiful Big Sur coast from Nepenthe. Jeff Pisoni’s new Estate Cuvée reveals black cherry, bramble berry, plum and Mission fig fruits along with a mix of spices, subtle oak toastiness, sweet florals and hint of mocha. This lively and youthful Pinot just gets better and more vivid in the glass opening up to show off rose petal aromatics, burnt orange, dried herb and cinnamon in a full bodied expression of Pinot that feels both elegant and seamless on the palate with a burst of natural acidity, which sets this vintage apart. This is push and easy to love Pinot, but there is also a fine structure here and I can imagine it aging exceptionally well and I highly recommend keeping your eyes peeled for the single vineyard offerings, as they should be monumental wines, maybe the best yet from this legendary winery.

As noted here and by the winery, Lucia wines are handcrafted offerings, made by the talented Jeff Pisoni in his gravity flow cellar in the Santa Rosa area, he says he employs a gentle maceration and uses tried and true winemaking techniques. The Estate Cuvée uses all hand-picked and sorted grapes, mostly de-stemmed with about 15% whole cluster in this cool vintage. Small lots are fermented exclusively with native yeast and then matured for just under a year in carefully selected French oak barrels, with about 50% new wood. In 2021 the final blend was close to 60% Pisoni, 23% Garys’ and 17% Soberanes, with quite a lot of the fabled Pisoni clone, all of which adds to the deep saturated color, complexity and depth found here. As mentioned above, this is a sublime vintage for the region and in particular the Pisoni farmed vineyards, showcasing the terroir and climate of the sandy loamy soils and of the cold breezy Ocean influenced Santa Lucia Highlands bench, this is a year not too miss here. After the total devastation of the 2020 fire vintage, these 2021s are an awesome comeback set of Pinots, with this Lucia label leading the way. The pleasure in the bottle is well worth the price here and I highly recommend chasing some down, and or enjoying by the glass at Big Sur’s Nepenthe Restaurant, where they have it always by the glass!
($55 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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