Sta. Rita Hills received its designation as an AVA in 2001, under the name Santa Rita Hills. In 2005, after a name dispute with the Chilean producer Vina Santa Rita, the region changed its name to Sta. Rita Hills. The region is situated on 30,720 acres in Santa Barbara County. Soil types within the Sta. Rita Hills are notoriously varied between mixed loams, Diatomaceous Earth, and shale. The valley's proximity to the Pacific Ocean along with its east to west running hills allow fog and wind off the Pacific to settle over the grapes and creates a cool growing climate. The cool climate has made the Sta. Rita Hills an excellent area for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Sourced from the same incredible vineyard as my previous wines, the 2012 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir is all Sta. Rita Hills. The nose features a rich combination of black cherries, fresh raspberries, wet forest, anisette and rose garden. The medium-bodied mouthfeel is firm, rich and round, reminding me of the texture of liquidized sour hard candy. On the palette, rich tones of sour dark cherries, red berries and plum mix with flourishes of sweet lemon rind, rhubarb pie, eastern spices and jasmine tea. The generous acid at the end carries a finish that goes on and on. This is a powerful wine that will improve with cellar age. If you just can't wait, decanting is recommended.
There’s a reason I started with this vineyard when I made my very first wine. Fiddlestix just seems to deliver something special every single year. Welcome to this year’s installment! On the nose there’s just-ripe strawberry, wild cherries jubilee, anisette, dark roses, cigar box and just a touch of leather. On the palette, the strawberries and wild cherries remain, joined by ripe currant, candied raspberry, caramelized vanilla, and crushed flowers. This is a lighter-bodied wine than the past couple vintages, but is still quite rich with a round, smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel that envelopes your palette which yields to a cascade of sparkling acid. The finish just seems to...well...never finish.
Our 'Rio Vista Vineyard' Pinot Noir from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, begins on the nose with a mouth watering sensation of strawberry/rhubarb pie and delicious spices baked into the mix. Right behind the pie are some earthy elements and touches of pepper, tobacco, smoked meats and a hint of orange peel. This is duck wine - or perhaps a comfort food roast beef or fresh Alaskan salmon grilled over a wood plank with light herbs. It evolves so much in the glass, maybe a bite of all three! It is at once sultry and at the same time playful, so perhaps pair this with some Madeleine Peyroux and a few of your more quixotic friends!
The ‘Good Earth’ tier celebrates specific vineyards showcasing a distinct style of a particular varietal unique to that vineyard site. In Santa Barbara County, there is a special piece of land nestled in a canyon amongst the Santa Rita Hills that is chalk full of…well…chalk (!). It gently ambles to the ocean…it is foggy, cool, sometimes brooding…and perfect for Pinot Noir.
The Rio Vista Vineyard is a star within the highly acclaimed Santa Rita Hills appellation. Betweenthe hillside plantings on chalky soils and the long, cool growing season, the wines off this vineyard are noted for their depth of color and complexity of fruit. Balance is a word that immediately comes to mind – worthy of drinking tonight or aging for decades.
Our Humanitas 2014 ‘Rio Vista Vineyard’ Pinot Noir begins on the nose with a mouth watering sensation of strawberry/rhubarb pie and delicious spices baked into the mix. Right behind the pie are some earthy elements and touches of pepper, tobacco, smoked meats and a hint of orange peel.
In the mouth, the fruit is very bright up front and the texture is thick in the middle and finish. A little flint & stone pops in followed by cigar wrapper, leather & black pepper. This is a complex wine, yet very easy to drink. It changes a lot in the glass…over and over again. This is duck wine – or perhaps a comfort food roast beef or fresh Alaskan salmon grilled over a wood plank with light herbs. It evolves so much in the glass, maybe a bite of all three! It is at once sultry and at the same time playful so perhaps pair this with some Madeleine Peyroux and a few of your more quixotic friends!
Bottling Date: August 26, 2015
Appellation: Santa Rita Hills – ‘Rio Vista Vineyard’ Designation
Blend: 100% Rio Vista Vineyards Pinot Noir
Clones: 115, 667, 777 & Wadenswill
Wood: 10 months French Oak