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. 

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.

Source: Fiddlestix Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Vinification: 100% French oak barrels (33% new) for 13 months
Clones: Dijon 667, 777, 113, 115, Pommard 4, Pommard 5
ABV: 14.3%
Production: 338 cases

Tasting Notes

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.

Vineyard Notes

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.

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.