Vintage 2014
Wine Type Red
Varietal Pinot Noir
Region Santa Rita Hills
Winemaker Jon Priest

Pinot Noir expresses the place it was grown to a degree that no other wine grape can.  The varietal offers a delicate transparency that when pursued right, effortlessly reveals its origins.  After 30 years of crafting Pinot Noir in Carneros, Etude continues its study of this captivating varietal and its varying expressions in some of the New World’s most renowned Pinot-producing regions. 

One of the smaller AVAs in California, 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 of the valley, extreme proximity to the Pacific and ancient marine bed soils combine to create an ideal cool-climate area for Pinot Noir.

Source: Fiddlestix Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Vinification: 100% French oak barrels (25% new) for 12 months
Clones: 667, 777, 113, 115, Pommard 4, Pommard 5

93 Points - Wine Enthusiast

"There's a heady mix of smoke and bacon fat on this bottling from one of the appellation's top vineyards, along with baked red cherry and dried fennel, all swirling together in a very appealing manner. The hickory-smoke touches are more reserved on the sip, where tart strawberry mixes with licorice, marjoram and thyme." - Matt Kettmann, December 2016

90 Points - Wine Advocate

“The outstanding 2014 Pinot Noir North Fiddlestix Vineyard reveals loads of sassafras and damp earth, but impressive quantities of black cherry and blackcurrant fruit with clove and allspice. This outstanding Pinot Noir is complex and best drunk over the next 5-6 years.” - December 2016

91 Points - Vinous

"The 2014 Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard is powerful and intense, with beams of supporting tannins that give the wine its distinctive personality. Dark red and purplish fruit, mint, wild flowers and sage give the 2014 character and nuance. The powerful side of the Sta. Rita Hills is front and center. I would give the 2014 at least a few more months in bottle to shed some of its tannin." - Antonio Galloni, January 2017

Tasting Notes

The 2014 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir shows the elegant side of this vineyard with its structure, restraint and finesse. Simultaneously deep and penetrating flavors of Bing cherry, pomegranate and raspberry give into savory notes of earth and spice. The wine is fresh and lively on the palate, offering bright acidity and youthful tannins that linger through the lasting finish.

Vineyard Notes

In the heart of Sta. Rita Hills, Fiddlestix Vineyard was deliberately planted as a vineyard for Pinot Noir.  Located 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 draw of Pacific currents, but sits low enough against the hills to achieve some protection from the area’s strong afternoon winds.  This unique exposure to coastal breezes and fog ensures cooling influences throughout extended sunny days, which helps to add depth and vibrancy in resulting Pinot Noirs.  In 35 small blocks, a variety of rootstocks and clones are planted in well-draining clay loam and calcareous marine shale to provide complexity and diversity to the vineyard.  A longstanding partnership allows our involvement in the farming of this vineyard to be uniquely hands on, which ensures viticulture practices and farming measures are comparable with that of Etude’s Estate Vineyards in order to achieve the same high level of quality wines.

Vintage Notes

The 2014 growing season in Santa Barbara County began even and warm, which brought early bud break and created ideal conditions for fruit set. The warm weather continued well into the summer months with no major heat spikes, and the consistent, moderate temperatures stayed favorable throughout the fall. The overall dry season made for a short and condensed harvest, but the resulting moderate yields of Pinot Noir fruit showed exceptional depth and concentration.

Winemaking Notes

Crafted with the same minimal winemaking techniques as Etude’s celebrated Carneros Pinot Noirs, each regional wine purely reflects the unique essence and character of its regional vineyard and still maintains Etude’s hallmarks of aromatic intrigue, vibrancy of expression and depth in ageability.