Sta. Rita Hills is home to some of Santa Barbara’s best-known Pinot Noirs and occupies the western portion of Santa Ynez Valley between Buellton and Lompoc. The region’s east-to-west orientation, extreme proximity to the Pacific Ocean and ancient marine bed soils are perfect for world class Pinot Noir.
"A richer style, this bottling begins with black cherry, clove, star anise and opulent strawberry aromas on the nose. There's a chalky grip of sandy tannins on the young palate, which is ripe, with cherry sauce and white-pepper flavors yet cut by ample acidity." - Matt Kettmann, December 2019
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.
For many on the Central Coast, the 2017 vintage was challenging, but for Etude, the major weather impacts that arrived in September were post-harvest, since all fruit was harvested between August 30 and September 5. Just a bit later, in mid-September, the region saw hail, lightning and wind that got growers attention. Record-setting heat, with warm days and nights, impacted fruit. But Etude was spared. In springtime, during bloom, some cooler temperatures and a bit of wind created shatter, with fewer clusters on the vine. But less is more, since flavors were concentrated.
The vineyard lies a few miles inland alongside the Santa Ynez River bench at the western end of the transverse-oriented Santa Ynez Valley. Fiddlestix receives a consistent marine influence from Pacific currents, but sits low enough against the hills to achieve some protection from the area’s strong afternoon winds. Exposure to coastal breezes and fog ensures cooling influences throughout extended sunny days, which helps add depth and vibrancy to the fruit. Temperatures are rarely above the mid 70’s. In 35 small blocks on 96 acres, a variety of rootstocks and clones are planted in well-draining Gazos and Batella clay loam and calcareous marine shale providing complexity and diversity to the vineyard. Nearby are some of California’s most famed and historic Pinot Noir vineyards.
Crafted with the same minimal winemaking techniques no matter the growing region, Etude Pinot Noir purely reflects the unique essence and character of the vineyard, maintaining Etude’s signature hallmarks of aromatic intrigue, vibrancy of expression and depth in ageability.
For more than a decade Jon has fashioned Etude wines with a simple creed. Inspired winegrowing diminishes the need for a winemaker to intervene in the cellar. Whether sourcing from the estate Grace Benoist Ranch in Sonoma's Los Carneros, or vineyards like Fiddlestix and North Canyon in famed growing regions of California's Central Coast, his focus is on coaxing the very best from the vineyard. It shows in every glass of Etude.
|Oak Treatment||100% French oak barrels for 12 months, 25% new|
|Residual Sugars||0.04 g/100ml|
|Blend||100% Pinot Noir|
|Case Production||2576 cases|