Ancien Wines Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015
Generously fruit forward and bold in its youth, the rambunctiousness of this wine is enjoyable to drink now with plenty of life to give for years down the line. The nose greets with rich notes of black cherry, blackberry, wet slate, and blood orange. Intense fresh fruits lead the palate, and the focus settles on ripe flavors of blackberry, cassis, and currants spiced with peppercorn, and tobacco notes. The firm, velvety and mouth filling tannins emphasize structure, while ever present acidity balances and brightens. The spicy aromatics and flavors continue through the long finish. Cellaring this wine for a decade or beyond will reveal a silky texture hidden beneath layers of relatively powerful tannins that dominate its early years.
A superior source of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, westernmost sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation within Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on.
The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot noir, thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil. Here, grapes ripen just enough, while retaining brisk acidity and harmonious balance.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”