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Brian Tuite
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#1 Post by Brian Tuite » March 7th, 2018, 9:06 am

A membership, a community, wine, parties, online forum...

Adam is going all out/all in. Interesting concept.
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#2 Post by Jeffrey Neal » March 7th, 2018, 9:14 am

Yes, it is an interesting concept. Not sure I see the value for anyone who is not in the area. Two wine parties a year are of zero value to someone living in Virginia. The forum might be interesting, but if the membership comprises 625 people who like a particular style of pinot noir, will it provide any insights I cannot get here? I doubt it. What I'm left with is a subscription for what will probably very good PN at $80 a bottle. There is a lot of very good PN in that price range, so it is a no go for me.

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#3 Post by Art R » March 7th, 2018, 9:20 am

+1, unfortunately, in Michigan
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#4 Post by Adam Lee » March 7th, 2018, 9:46 am

Obviously I am biased, but just a couple of other points (that I probably didn't make clearly enough).

As a member you get discounts - on other people's wines (and availability of wines you wouldn't get otherwise). So, for instance, Jake is going to open up the cellar and offer some Limerick Lane wines to Clarice members. Same goes for Scot at Marietta Cellars who is going to offer discounts on his wines that he doesn't normally for Clarice members. There will be lots of others as well.

And I did think a lot about this board and how the two would be different. Obviously this board is a huge font on knowledge. What I tried to bring to Clarice is the guest aspect (so getting to interact personally with people like Jeff Newton, Mario Zepponi, and many others) and also the real time aspect (take a picture of the CdP section of a wine list, say you don't like brett and post it. By the time you are done with your bubbles people will tell you not to buy Pegau).

And some of the educational content will be unique. My first post is on a study I've done which shows that Napa is both simultaneously more are less diverse. It's a pretty in-depth study of the Grape Acreage Report over a few decades.

But I certainly understand the distance issue.

Enough of a commercial post.

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#5 Post by Brian Tuite » March 7th, 2018, 10:26 am

So in other words, "Membership has its' privileges." ;-)

Thanks Adam!
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#6 Post by Michael Martin » March 28th, 2018, 10:10 am

Has anyone joined yet?

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#7 Post by Chris Seiber » March 28th, 2018, 5:05 pm

Do they serve Chianti? With fava beans?

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#8 Post by Michael Martin » March 28th, 2018, 6:35 pm

So nobody here has pulled the trigger?

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#9 Post by Jeff Bloom » March 28th, 2018, 7:27 pm

I've loved Adam's Pinots (and Syrahs) for a really long time and would have signed up in a second if I lived in California, because it sounds like a really interesting concept. From the East Coast, though, you lose most of the "extras" and it just becomes a lot of money for some probably very good Pinot.

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#10 Post by Bud Carey » March 29th, 2018, 4:47 am

Agreed, Jeff.
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#11 Post by Michael Martin » March 29th, 2018, 5:19 am

That’s sort of what I was thinking. Being out of state and paying that price, I would rather just go buy good wine.

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#12 Post by Brian Tuite » March 29th, 2018, 7:05 am

Michael Martin wrote:That’s sort of what I was thinking. Being out of state and paying that price, I would rather just go buy good wine.
The fact that I live in CA financially excludes my participation.
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#13 Post by Tom Gutting » March 29th, 2018, 7:48 am

I signed up ... I think the interactive feature will offer a unique opportunity to really stretch and challenge my notions about wine and winemaking. I'm hopeful I could make it out to an event every year or two. But Adam is one of the most transparent, honest, and generous winemakers I've ever met, and the Pinots are going to be excellent. I look forward to it.
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#14 Post by Adam Lee » March 29th, 2018, 8:24 am

Hey All,

I certainly understand those that live further away missing out on the parties. And I realize that for many that will be an issue that will prevent them from joining. One thing that I have arranged to try and make up for that is to make certain that members, near and far, get an opportunity to purchase limited production wines from other wineries or purchase other wines at a discount. So, for example, Jake Bilbro is going into the cellar and coming up with some older LL releases that are going to be available to Clarice Members, near and far. Other wineries will be doing similar things and/or offering exclusive discounts to Clarice Members.

Just wanted to point that out.

Thanks for the discussion.

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#15 Post by R. Frankel » March 29th, 2018, 8:57 am

There are a lot of wine clubs that include lifestyle and community functions (i.e. parties). There are a lot of places to go for online content. I'm not sure I see anything stunningly new here. There's the tax-avoidance trick of calling most of the annual fee a subscription. That's neat. And by making public a specific number of members (625) the exclusivity is highlighted. I don’t think I’ve seen a winemaker publish their list size, or explicitly limit it (though it’s obvious enough that with guaranteed 12 bottles a year per member, Clarice can only have as many members as cases they make … until they grow).

Why would anyone join? Certainly if you liked Siduri's wines, then this gets you access to Adam's new project. Since the wine hasn’t come out yet, and nobody has tasted it, you’d only want to sign up if you loved Adam’s style and were confident in his wine making, as many many people certainly are. So, the primary driver of Clarice seems to be Adam's brand, which is a strong and well-earned one. At $80 a bottle, it's not crazy, and I'm sure lots of people will be attracted to the 'exclusivity' of it. All the ITB content will attract those folks — perhaps this is a play to get ITB people to join with corporate money paying for the ‘subscription’?

The phenomena of highly successful wine makers selling their shop, then spinning up a new smaller project seems to be here to stay. For example, Bart Araujo sold his business, then started Accendo. I’m sure there are many more examples, and more coming. Buying wine from these kinds of new businesses seems more sensible then buying wine from a wildly successful businessman in some random industry (eg. industrial flooring, tech, or ice hockey) who knows nothing about wine diving into the biz.

In short, if you love Adam’s wines, and are fine with the price tag, then it’s a no brainer. This will be the best you can get from a top wine maker from top vineyards. All the other member benefits are fluff. Heck, I nearly just convinced myself to join!
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#16 Post by Adam Lee » March 29th, 2018, 9:08 am

Thanks Rich....just on a pure wine style end of things...the wines are more whole cluster than I've ever done before, picked a bit earlier, all native yeasts, etc. So some different directions...

And no plans to grow the business. This is pretty much it.

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#17 Post by R. Frankel » March 29th, 2018, 4:32 pm

Thanks Adam, really intriguing.

Can you fill us in more about the change in approach? How do you expect the earlier pick, whole cluster, etc. to be reflected in the wine? What are you trying to achieve? Also, when will the first vintage be released?
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#18 Post by Greg Harter » March 29th, 2018, 8:05 pm

I've been a big fan of Siduri wines for over 2 decades (love their wines and style) and was really interested in this new concept. Unfortunately, living out of state, just seems to take a lot of the advantages out of it. On one hand I like the idea of discounts from other wineries. But honestly, I am on enough (or more than enough lists) and discounts from wineries that I don't currently buy from aren't in the budget.

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#19 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 29th, 2018, 8:14 pm

Adam - why wouldn’t you have tossed around the idea of having your forum here, where a much larger audience exists, in an opt-in or admin-approved membership for visibility? Would massively extend your potential marketplace, and most of us have seen how small forums die out fast
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#20 Post by Rich Brown » March 29th, 2018, 8:55 pm

Adam Lee wrote:Hey All,

I certainly understand those that live further away missing out on the parties. And I realize that for many that will be an issue that will prevent them from joining. One thing that I have arranged to try and make up for that is to make certain that members, near and far, get an opportunity to purchase limited production wines from other wineries or purchase other wines at a discount. So, for example, Jake Bilbro is going into the cellar and coming up with some older LL releases that are going to be available to Clarice Members, near and far. Other wineries will be doing similar things and/or offering exclusive discounts to Clarice Members.

Just wanted to point that out.

Thanks for the discussion.

Adam Lee
Clarice Wine Company.
Hey Adam, can you give us an idea of the types of discounts you're talking about/expecting to offer as part of the membership? For someone who does not live in CA, that could potentially be the added value that makes the membership worth signing up for. But being that I can/have purchased older vintages of LL at auction for substantially less than what I paid off the mailing list.....it would be helpful to get a better idea of what you're talking about.

Totally get it of you just aren't able to talk speak to the specifics....but figured it was worth asking about since I do have interest in signing up.

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#21 Post by R. Frankel » March 29th, 2018, 10:04 pm

Rich Brown wrote: But being that I can/have purchased older vintages of LL at auction for substantially less than what I paid off the mailing list.....it would be helpful to get a better idea of what you're talking about.
This is a general problem/opportunity in this segment. Do any US Pinots hold their value? Or to put it another way, it seems like you can find most US pinots below 'list' prices if you are patient and look around. Ok, there are just a few exceptions (Marcassin ... um ... Marcassin ... um ...). Willams Selyem? Kosta Brown? No and no. And some wines are such small production that they never show up in the secondary market. I've run across quite a few of my faves selling library wines for a significant premium over release while those same bottles are available in the secondary market below release. Yes, provenance is a potential issue, but we're talking about US Pinot made in the last decade or so. Not bottles stored in an attic in Italy for decades. I buy from responsible secondary markets with zero qualms.

Long story short, this value provided by Clarice is a minimal one, at least IMHO.
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#22 Post by Adam Lee » March 30th, 2018, 4:37 am

Hey all, Sorry for the delayed response. I was traveling all day yesterday and then working selling wine. So here goes:

Rich -- On the wine/wine making. My favorite Pinot Noirs aromatically are often the lighter colored, more red fruited wines. My favorite Pinots on the palate are usually more dark fruited and a bit more weighty. I have often wanted to combine those elements and have done my best to do so in blending at the winery, but unfortunately one outweighs the other. I haven't been able to combine them in a way that I want. That would be my goal. -- One of the things I've noticed in the SLH (and other places as well), is that as the vines age, the fruit is tending to reach maturity earlier, and at lower brix. So I am trying to take advantage of that. I am also working the growers to try and extend hang time without getting higher sugars (I left more fruit on my vines until verasion than others in the vineyard and then did a much more drastic color thin). -- Long story short, I ended up with wines at lower alcohols than I've had before, more stems, higher acids, and yet with the richness that I've wanted. First vintage will be released fall/winter. Bottled August 27.

Rich, I can and I can't give you and idea specifically because it really is going to be up to the individual wineries offering the wines and discounts to decide what they want to do. And also, because this is going to be an ongoing and changing thing. If Clarice Members want to hear more from guest authors that are winemakers, I will get those people for them and they will be able to offer whatever they choose. My point in this is to bring value to Members and if something they want can be had, then I will go get it for them. If you want to drop me an email at claricewinecompany@gmail.com I can tell you more details.

Todd, the Clarice forum idea wasn't something that I saw you incorporating here. Perhaps I was wrong and should have considered it. But the Clarice forum is a private forum, open only to the 625 members of the list and to the guest posters. So, for example, when Jeff Newton writes his blog post on farming in the Central Coast, the members will get to read his opinion, post about it online on the members only section of the site, interact with him in the forum (and throughout the year), Learn from him and also buy his wine. -- Same thing for the other guest authors (though not all have wine to sell) - such as the Jeb from Silicon Valley Bank, etc. I didn't see how having this private interaction, available only to members, would fit into this larger community. If there was a way, then please feel free to PM me or email me. Clarice will continue to grow and change and improve.

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#23 Post by R. Frankel » March 30th, 2018, 8:11 am

Adam, thanks for this explanation. The combination of smell and taste you are looking for is very similar to what I enjoy in a fine Pinot. Hmmmm.
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#24 Post by Anton D » April 23rd, 2018, 10:10 am

Looking forward to Adam Lee's new project!
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#25 Post by Kevin Porter » April 23rd, 2018, 10:23 am

I was expecting a chianti TN

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#26 Post by Bdklein » April 23rd, 2018, 10:27 am

Kevin Porter wrote:I was expecting a chianti TN
Good one!!!
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#27 Post by Todd F r e n c h » April 23rd, 2018, 11:59 am

Did you join the Clarice Wine Company forum? Only CWC members can, as Adam approves all those who request to join
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#28 Post by John Morris » April 23rd, 2018, 12:05 pm

For those who didn't see the other thread.
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#29 Post by Anton D » April 23rd, 2018, 12:06 pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:Did you join the Clarice Wine Company forum? Only CWC members can, as Adam approves all those who request to join
I dunno!

Is it here?

I just got the email today, and looked over page one here and didn't see anything and figured it hadn't been posted yet.

Please feel free to kill this thread. Apologies for the redundancy.
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#30 Post by james l moleberg » April 23rd, 2018, 12:08 pm

$1000/year? Did he burn through all that Kendall Jackson money already?

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#31 Post by Anton D » April 23rd, 2018, 12:15 pm

james l moleberg wrote:$1000/year? Did he burn through all that Kendall Jackson money already?
A case of wine, including shipping, and I already know I like his winemaking style.

Struck me as reasonable.

If I were to buy a case and pay shipping, that would work out to about 75-80 bucks a bottle.

Plus, I think Adam Lee has been very supportive of Berserker members and I like him, so I have positive energy regarding his endeavor.

(I must have gotten a "Table 19" invite. Still happy to do it!) champagne.gif
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#32 Post by james l moleberg » April 23rd, 2018, 12:25 pm

I think very highly of Adam's style. I still find it off putting when a winemaker on a new project expects people to plunk down $1000 for wine no one has tried. When a respected winemaker goes the lifestyle brand route, its disappointing.

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#33 Post by Todd F r e n c h » April 23rd, 2018, 12:29 pm

Merging threads...
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#34 Post by Anton D » April 23rd, 2018, 12:52 pm

james l moleberg wrote:I think very highly of Adam's style. I still find it off putting when a winemaker on a new project expects people to plunk down $1000 for wine no one has tried. When a respected winemaker goes the lifestyle brand route, its disappointing.
This is an interesting topic.

I am a lazy consumer. I don't like having to scramble to shops to find wine. I don't even like mailing lists that are first come, first served. Guarantee me my allocation and take my money, please.

With this wine venture, I pay a yearly fee and I know I will be getting wine without having to "save the date" or risk missing a wine because it popped up some morning when I was busy.

So, the only 'lifestyle' thing I am paying for is the pleasure of not having to worry about 'for sale' dates.

If only I lived close enough (or had the available time) to attend the winery parties that the clubs host, I would be even happier. That would just be gravy.
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#35 Post by james l moleberg » April 23rd, 2018, 12:59 pm

Winery release parties are one of my least favorite pastimes, so drinking wine and hob bobbing with the winemaker hold very little benefit to me. It would be more attractive if their were 2 clubs- the wine club, and the lifestyle club, at 2 different price points. Some people really enjoy the opportunity to eat some canapés while sipping from a winery logo'd glass at a "members only" party. Just hasnt resonated with me, and not something I would pay a premium for. But I'm certain it will appeal to many and your contrarian perspective is appreciated Anton.

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#36 Post by Anton D » April 23rd, 2018, 1:19 pm

james l moleberg wrote:Winery release parties are one of my least favorite pastimes, so drinking wine and hob bobbing with the winemaker hold very little benefit to me. It would be more attractive if their were 2 clubs- the wine club, and the lifestyle club, at 2 different price points. Some people really enjoy the opportunity to eat some canapés while sipping from a winery logo'd glass at a "members only" party. Just hasnt resonated with me, and not something I would pay a premium for. But I'm certain it will appeal to many and your contrarian perspective is appreciated Anton.
Cheers, amigo.

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#37 Post by Adam Lee » April 23rd, 2018, 3:20 pm

James,

Do you mind if I send you a PM? I am confused as to what you mean by the "lifestyle brand route" and "canapes and a logo glass." That is pretty much the antithesis of what I am trying to do...and so I'd like to learn how you got that impression, but not certain that is of interest to anyone else. But also don't want to PM you without it being okay with you.

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#38 Post by davefoshee » April 23rd, 2018, 4:34 pm

[quote="Michael Martin"]Has anyone joined yet?[/quote


I have. I was an early Siduri fan, and am predominatly a Pinot drinker. Besides having a lot of faith in Adam I also considered the vineyards he is sourcing from.

Are there comparable and/or better wines at a similar price point? I’d say that there are, but considering that I believe his wines will have limited production (given the source vineyards) I wanted to roll the dice and make sure that if I liked it that I wouldn’t get shut out if it really caught on. That has happened before.....I have liked wines that once were “available” but subsequently ended up on allocation and ended up missing the boat. Lesson learned.

So I’m taking a chance, I’ve paid more for wine I didn’t like.....and like I said....I have faith that Adam is going to do well by us.

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#39 Post by Anton D » April 23rd, 2018, 4:46 pm

davefoshee wrote:
Michael Martin wrote:Has anyone joined yet?[/quote


I have. I was an early Siduri fan, and am predominatly a Pinot drinker. Besides having a lot of faith in Adam I also considered the vineyards he is sourcing from.

Are there comparable and/or better wines at a similar price point? I’d say that there are, but considering that I believe his wines will have limited production (given the source vineyards) I wanted to roll the dice and make sure that if I liked it that I wouldn’t get shut out if it really caught on. That has happened before.....I have liked wines that once were “available” but subsequently ended up on allocation and ended up missing the boat. Lesson learned.

So I’m taking a chance, I’ve paid more for wine I didn’t like.....and like I said....I have faith that Adam is going to do well by us.

Dave
I joined based on enjoyment of Siduri's past.

I also want to encourage this sort of thing, it helps allow someone to stay true to the 'artisinal' quest.
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#40 Post by james l moleberg » April 23rd, 2018, 5:27 pm

Adam Lee wrote:James,

Do you mind if I send you a PM? I am confused as to what you mean by the "lifestyle brand route" and "canapes and a logo glass." That is pretty much the antithesis of what I am trying to do...and so I'd like to learn how you got that impression, but not certain that is of interest to anyone else. But also don't want to PM you without it being okay with you.

Adam Lee
Clarice Wine Company
Hi Adam- yes, the lines of communication are always open. Before your post I actually mentioned to a member my tone may have come off as unfairly harsh. I look forward to chatting via PM.

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#41 Post by J a y H a c k » April 24th, 2018, 4:17 am

Adam Lee wrote: . . . And no plans to grow the business. This is pretty much it.

Adam
I have heard this story before and so far, it is batting .000. I just want to put a marker here so that we can look back in 5 or 10 years and find out. Hopefully Todd will still be running this and I will not be dead, but the best laid plans of mice and men, and all that. How's that sale to KJ working out? I don't get fliers any more.
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Adam Lee
Posts: 1935
Joined: March 2nd, 2009, 5:16 am

The Clarice Wine Company email

#42 Post by Adam Lee » April 24th, 2018, 4:42 am

Jay,

Delighted to have the marker out here. We grew Siduri larger than we had ever planned (much like you mentioned) and ended up feeling like the business was running us, rather than us running the business. We didn't want to turn that entire feeling over to our kids. -- With something much smaller like Clarice I hope to have something that, if they want to grow it, great. If they don't want to be a part of it, I can eventually sunset it.

Sale to JFW has been great. I just signed up for 2 more years. Willamette Pinot Noir made the Wine & Spirits list as one of the most popular btg Pinots in the country - something we never achieved before.

Adam Lee

T Welch
Posts: 3109
Joined: April 12th, 2010, 9:46 pm

The Clarice Wine Company email

#43 Post by T Welch » June 29th, 2018, 8:01 pm

Congratulations, Adam, on some very nice reviews in WA.
T*R*U*E*T*T

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