2017 Ancien Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard

Year: 2017
Appellation: Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County
Country: USA-California
Wine Enthusiast: 95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.4%
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"Aromas of black raspberry, ripe plum, licorice and spicy wild herbs show on the nose of this delicious bottling. It's rich and lush on the palate, where dark baked-fruit flavors are enhanced by star anise, cardamom and chai spices, all wrapped in fabulously creamy tannins. -Matt Kettmann" (WE)

Winery Notes:
About The Vineyard:
The Fiddlestix Vineyard is located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, which straddle the Santa Ynez River as it makes its way to the Pacific Ocean. As an East-West oriented valley, opening its mouth to the cool Pacific breezes, the consistent and cooling marine influence is significant. The vineyard is managed and owned in partnership by Kathy Joseph, who has planted an array of clones and rootstocks on several, varied soils to create a staggering level of diversity from this single vineyard. The remarkably consistent weather, characterized by lower highs and higher lows than our North Coast vineyards, conspires with silica-laden, marine sedimentary soils to make wines of power and exceptional structure. This vintage marks our eighth working with Kathy and this remarkable vineyard.

About The Vintage:
Ample rain brought an end to our five-year drought and the 2017 vintage produced the high quality of fruit that we had enjoyed in the prior seasons. It was an unusually wet year with a mild spring that allowed the vigorous vines to flower extensively. Record-breaking heat in the days leading to harvest fully ripened the grapes, developing sugar and flavor, while cool nights ensured wines would retain mouthwatering acidity. Our harvest wrapped up, with wine aging in barrel and safe from smoke damage, long before the October fires visited Napa. Ultimately, we were gifted a smaller vintage than the originally anticipated and we were very happy with the high quality of the grapes. Deliciously juicy, our wines excited our palates months before bottling!

About The Wine:
The grapes were 100% destemmed into an open top fermenter and cold soaked for 5 days. We utilized a combination of hand punch-downs and a submerged cap device in order to optimally control extraction from the skins. We fermented with a combination of RC212 and Assmannshausen yeasts, with a peak temperature of 94°F. The wine was aged for 17 months in an array of Francois Frères and Remond cooperage, entirely of Bertrange Oak and a majority new. We held the wine in bottle for nearly a year before release. 181 cases produced.

Tasting Notes:
A bold Pinot Noir with notes of fruit and exotic spice, this wine is enjoyable to drink now with plenty of life to give for years down the line. The nose greets with notes of watermelon, wet slate, and cassis. Fresh dark fruits lead the palate, and the focus settles on ripe flavors of blackberry and currants spiced with peppercorn. Velvety and softly chewy tannins emphasize structure, while ever-present acidity balances and brightens. The spicy aromatics and flavors continue through the long finish.