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2010 Sta Rita Hills "Fiddlestix"

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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 a 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 eight working with Kathy and this remarkable vineyard.

About the Vintage...

2010 was a challenge to the nerves as well as a chance for experienced wine makers to strut their stuff. In other words, those with experience were advantaged with the working knowledge of how best to manage their vineyards and to keep their fruit clean and healthy. Situated as it is, close to the coast and along the Santa Ynez River, Fiddlestix appeared to avoid the worst of the weather, resulting in a bold, fully ripened Pinot Noir great tannic structure. The generally cool weather seems to have preserved acidity, making this a potential blockbuster of a wine, ready to age for a long time..
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 94F.  The wine was aged for 17 months in an array of Francois Freres and Remond cooperage, entirely of Bertrange Oak and a majority new.  We held the wine in bottle for nearly a year before release.  172 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...

This is a bold Pinot Noir, rambunctious in its youth and promising to unfold with grace into its maturity. The nose is densely packed with rich fruits, black cherry, cassis, blackberry, grape blossome, citrus zest, orange blossom, wet slate, cardamom, and blood orange. Intense, fresh fruits lead the palate, settling on the mid-palate with focused, ripe flavors of grape, black cherry, cassis, and currants, intermixed with holiday spice, woody notes, cola, and tobacco notes.  Brilliant acidity provides brightness and balance, while structure, always a strong suit for this wine, is emphasized by mouth-filling tannins.  The spicy aromatics continue through the long finish.  This a wine that will lay down nicely for a decade or longer, filling out the palate with rich, organic, and earthy flavors, while its strong tannins resolve into a silken and even longer palate.