2016 Etude Pinot Noir, North Canyon Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara
Less than twenty miles from the Pacific Ocean, North Canyon Vineyard sits along the Santa Maria river bench in a secluded canyon that provides some protection from the region’s renowned maritime influences. Located a bit off the direct valley, temperatures are often a few degrees warmer and North Canyon is exposed to extended periods of sunshine that ensure Pinot Noir matures to a bright red fruit character. A variety of rootstocks and clones are planted in calcareous clay sandstone at North Canyon, which differs from the valley’s defining marine mixture of ancient sea bed, clay loam and sand. Fruit from one select block, located on a bluff in the southern, cooler end of the canyon, was chosen for this Pinot Noir. In order to achieve the same high level of quality wines, the farming of North Canyon is uniquely hands on, which ensures viticulture practices and farming measures are comparable with that of Etude’s Estate Vineyards.
The signature of North Canyon Pinot Noir is a noticeably darker red fruit tone, and this vintage is no exception, given its beautifully saturated ruby red color. Notes of boysenberry, young plum and black cherry intertwine, ushering in nuances of rooibos tea leaves and oak spice. Elegant tannins develop into a supple texture and bright acidity provides a rich buoyancy. This wine has balance, depth and complexity that remains on the palate long into its finish.