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2004 Santa Rita Hills

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About the Vineyard...
The Fiddlestix Vineyard is located in the Santa Rita Hills AVA which straddle the Santa Inez River as it makes its way to the Pacific Ocean. As a East-West oriented valley, the marine influence is great, opening its mouth at the city of Lompoc to the cool Pacific breezes. The vineyard is managed and owned in partnership by Kathy Joseph, who has planted a range of clones, orientations, and rootstocks to create a large amount of diversity in this single vineyard. The remarkably consistent weather which is characterized by lower highs and higher lows than up north, conspires with marine sedimentary soils and alluvials to make wines of power and exceptional structure. We have purchased fruit from her, beginning in 2003, with mix of Dijon clones 115 and 667.

About the Vintage...
The 2004 vintage produced a more normal crop compared to the microharvest of 2003. This was in marked contrast to the northern part of the state which was so light. The result was lighter tannins in from this structured fruit that will be much more approachable at a young age the 2003 produced powerful but angular wines, in contrast, that will take a few years of patience to allow them to soften.

About the Wine...
The grapes were 100% destemmed into an open top fermenter and cold soaked for 5 days. The wine was fermented entirely with a submerged cap device, keeping the skins under the surface of the wine for a gentle but continual extraction of the grapes. Fermentation was done by a mix of RC212 and Assmannshausen yeasts with fermentation spiking to a very warm 95F. The grapes were pressed just after dryness. The wine was aged entirely in French oak barrels from the Bertrange forest both Francois Freres and Remond cooperages. Wine analysis: Alc. 14 %, pH 3.58, ta 5.9 g/l. , r.s. 0.01 g/l. 140 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Deep color hints of the wines intense blend of black and red fruits, cranberry, red licorice, blackberry preserves, black tea, and surprising notes of pepper, cassis and slight gaminess. The wine is supple in the palate with firm structure at the end. An intense wine on the muscular side of Pinot. Drinkable at release or age 7 9 years and watch additional layers unfold.