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Ryan Cochrane Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WE92
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Sourced from the same incredible vineyard as my previous wines, the 2012 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir is all Sta. Rita Hills. The nose features a rich combination of black cherries, fresh raspberries, wet forest, anisette and rose garden. The medium-bodied mouthfeel is firm, rich and round, reminding me of the texture of liquidized sour hard candy. On the palette, rich tones of sour dark cherries, red berries and plum mix with flourishes of sweet lemon rind, rhubarb pie, eastern spices and jasmine tea. The generous acid at the end carries a finish that goes on and on. This is a powerful wine that will improve with cellar age. If you just can't wait, decanting is recommended.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This shows the ripe, expressive nature of the vineyard, with rich raspberry and red currant flavors, accompanied by brisk acidity and a scour of tannins. Spicy earthiness comes from partial whole-cluster fermentation that may add to the wine's age worthiness.
Cellar Selection.
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Ryan Cochrane

Ryan Cochrane Wines

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Ryan Cochrane Wines, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
Ryan Cochrane makes hand-crafted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in extremely small quantities. With grapes sourced from the best vineyards, Ryan produces food-friendly, structured wines that reflect the sites from which they originated. More importantly, he just wants to create wines that make people smile.

Back in 2009, he wasn’t smiling a lot. The advertising agency he was working at had just imploded. Ryan started freelancing, but it was a bad time for work in San Francisco. He had always dreamed about making wine, so one foggy morning in July, he decided to stop dreaming about it and do it for reals.

He contacted Roger Nicolas at RN Estate in Paso Robles and asked if he could intern with him. Roger makes beautiful wines, but he was equally enamored of his DEY (do everything yourself) approach to his business. That year, he helped in all phases of harvest, from vineyard work in the spring to pressing and barreling in the fall.

Ryan came back to RNE in 2010, and made 24.5 cases of his inaugural Pinot Noir on the side. In 2011, he tripled his production and was promoted to Roger’s assistant winemaker. He made two different Pinots in 2012 and his very first Chardonnay in 2013. All from two of the most extraordinary vineyards in Santa Barbara County.

Sta. Rita Hills

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A superior source of Californian wine beloved by Burgundy fans, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, western most sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation in 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, grapes ripen just enough, retaining brisk acidity and demonstrating saline minerality and harmonious balance.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

LID10001495_2012 Item# 277586