2017 Caraccioli Cellars, Nouveau of Pinot Noir, Escolle Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands.
A great Thanksgiving wine, the new Pinot Nouveau from Scott Caraccioli, is bursting with fruity flavors and light spices, it’s a fun 100% estate grown single vineyard Nouveau that highlights the vintage’s potential and is a wonderful quaffer. A visit to Caraccioli’s Carmel tasting lounge proved very rewarding, getting a chance to sample this Pinot Nouveau and the latest set of bubbly, both of which are drinking luxurious and stylish, in particular the 2012 Brut Rose ($60 Est.) is a leesy beauty that Caraccioli should be very proud of, being the leader in méthode champenoise Monterey Sparkling Wine sits well with this winery! The 2017 Nouveau of Pinot Noir was carbonic fermented, with the tank layered with stacks of half whole cluster and half de-stemed whole berries, this takes the edge off on the palate allowing a more textured mouth feel and still giving that juicy pop you’d expect of a Nouveau, Caraccioli used all estate Escolle Vineyard 100% 777 Clone fruit, picked at 22 Brix, all of which adds up to quality in the glass and heightens the experience. The electric ruby hue leads the way before a hint of fresh picked roses, a subtle cotton candy and bubble gum note as well as a burst of maraschino cherry as well as pretty strawberry and raspberry fruits along with light cinnamon, rhubarb, apple skin and a cranberry tangy finish. With a faint sweet and sour flourish this is nicely balance version, a bit pricy yes, but forgiven somewhat for the very limited nature and uniqueness, get it while you can and drink it up quickly.
($30 Est.) 88 Points, grapelive

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