Etude Sta. Rita Hills Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir always shows a sense of elegance balanced with vibrant energy. This vintage makes a statement, quite bold in assertive flavors of black cherry and plum, wild raspberries and aromas of boysenberry. White pepper and oak spice are evident, accented by floral hints of violets, roses and lavender. Mid-weight and medium bodied, the wine is well integrated and balanced. As is common with Fiddlestix, a sense of minerality from the calcareous vineyard soils lingers in the finish, with fine grained tannins completing the picture. Distinctive and lovely, another memorable wine from this exceptional vineyard.
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What began thirty years ago as a philosophical state of mind is now a state-of-the-art winemaking facility where the ancient art of winemaking is pursued with a singular passion.
Etude Wines is dedicated to the study of craft of winegrowing. In classical music, an etude is a composition with a technical focus that allows the musician to practice a particular technique. Similarly, Etude wines are the product of deliberate concentration on the instructive variables of the craft. The end game is not edification alone, but rather the wine itself as a source of enjoyment.
Working together in this oenological quest for perfection are current winemaker Jon Priest and Ast. Winemaker Rob Fischer. They transform the very finest Carneros and Napa Valley grapes into world-class wines sought out by the most discriminating wine lovers. In addition to its widely acclaimed Carneros Pinot Noir and legendary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Etude has also developed a loyal following for Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Merlot and Pinots from the most sought after AVAs around the world.
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.”