2021 Private Property, Sparkling Brut Rosé, Santa Lucia Highlands.
The almost secret Private Property wines from Scott Caraccioli are all delicious, especially this Private Property Brut Rosé sparkler, which comes from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes mainly, if not only in certain years, from his family’s now famous 124-acre estate Escolle Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Less serious than the Caraccioli Methode Champenoise bottlings, but delightfully retrained and vibrant, this 2021 is full of vintage purity and showcases this terroir with mineral tones and energy delivering brisk cherry, ruby citrus, crushed raspberry an strawberry fruits, a touch of spice, wet stone, a light sense of yeast and rosewater. The color is pretty and pale in the glass with a fine creamy, but vigorous mouse, all very stylish and attractive. I believe the final blend, in 2021, was about 57% Chardonnay and 43% Pinot Noir (1% still wine added for color), and is direct to press Chard and Pinot juice, no reserve wine (added) and a much shorter lees contact, all of which captures tons vibrancy and the zingy nature of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Scott uses the Champagne gentle show wine press that gives lighter extraction and elegance that he desires in his wines, preserving nuance and transparency.

The Private Property label is a secondary Caraccioli Family project that, they say, showcases the viticultural traditions of the Monterey County farming community and includes a selection of soulful and authentic cool climate wines. The full collection that Scott Caraccioli has put together is an impressive set of wines, including some intriguing bottlings, like this Brut Rosé, as well as a lovely Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, a tasty Pinot Gris, a dry Rosé (still wine) and even a Grenache, all from Santa Lucia Highlands grapes. I am really a huge fan of what Caraccioli does as a grower and as a producer, there is such a commitment to the environment, quality and to the history of the region, it is impressive what they’ve accomplished since planting this cru site. The Escolle Vineyard sits in the cool zone and has much the same characteristics as its legendary neighbors at Garys’ and Rosella’s Vineyards with a constant Ocean breeze, which howls at times and the areas sandy loamy soils with decomposed granite and veins of quartz, which really makes the steely essence pop in this wines. The top Caraccioli Brut Cuvée and Brut Rosé are some of the finest examples of California bubbly you can get, and I highly recommend them, but this Private Property line is a tasty treat and value!
($40 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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