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

In the heart of Sta. Rita Hills, Fiddlestix Vineyard was deliberately planted for Pinot Noir and the alluring varietal remains not only the vineyard’s, but the appellation’s forté. Comprised of the finest blocks of the vintage, Etude Forté is a limited bottling that best exemplifies the characteristics of Fiddlestix Vineyard: dense concentration of fruit flavors, natural balance and vibrant acidity.

One of the smaller AVAs in California, Sta. Rita Hills occupies the portion of Santa Ynez Valley west of Highway 101 and is home to some of Santa Barbara’s best-known Pinot Noirs. Located a few miles inland alongside the Santa Ynez River bench at the western end of the transverse-oriented Santa Ynez Valley, Fiddlestix Vineyard 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.

Winemakers Tasting Note

Our 2014 Forté Pinot Noir brims with a medley of blackberries, black currant and black cherry with undertones of truffles and forest floor. The wine showcases the pedigree of the Fiddlestix Vineyard with its vibrant, balanced acidity, and robust yet polished tannins. The pure, concentrated quality of the fruit lingers on the palate long into the finish.

338 cases produced.

About the Vintage

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.

WINE ENTHUSIAST - 93 POINTS

“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.”

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