Sta. Rita Hills

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While some found the 2010 vintage to be challenging or even hellish, we loved it! Sure, with any difficult vintage (cool weather, excessive heat, high rainfall) there will be some hiccups, but overall we were able to craft a simply thrilling lineup of wines. Weather trumps everything else in grape growing, and the summer of 2010 was the summer that never arrived. In warm Ojai it never got hot, and in Santa Maria and Lompoc it was downright cold. This had a profound effect on the vines and the grapes they produced. Hot weather burns off delicate aromatics and acidity and helps produce lots of sugar, so cool 2010 gave us grapes and wines of unusual aromatic intensity and fresh acidity–all brought together with a gentler texture due to lower alcohol. This harvest really had its ups and downs. We lazed around waiting for that perfect moment to pick the pinot noir, and after days and weeks of no change in the usual indicators of ripeness–sugar and acidity—I got this feeling that I should just go for it and pick. I couldn’t believe that the day after we were finished the temperature jumped up into the 100s while the humidity dropped to the teens. Within two days, all the pinot left out in the field turned to raisins. We lucked out picking when we did, and the wines, bottled in December, are sensational.

What an exotic aroma! Cardamom spice, sour cherry, mineral, earth—it’s difficult to describe this wine’s fabulously complex aroma. And the flavors follow through beautifully: silky rich tannins, enticing fruit and a savory quality that has one reaching for another glassful.

Blend: 100% Pinot Noir | Alc: 13.4% | Vinification: 30% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 15 Months | Total Production: 355 cases

Press Reviews

Antonio Galloni’s Vinous

“The 2010 Pinot Noir Fe Ciega comes across a bit bombastic next to the other wines in the range. Waves of dark red fruit and spices hit the palate in a Pinot that is first and foremost about texture. Slightly wild notes run through the Fe Ciega, but not enough to detract from its considerable appeal. I especially like the weight and richness of the finish.” – AG 95 Points

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

“Vivid ruby-red.  Raspberry compote and Asian spices on the alluringly perfumed nose, with notes of Asian spices and sandalwood adding complexity.  Sweet, sappy and expansive, offering sappy red and dark berry flavors and a silky texture.  Gains tension with air but maintains its fruity appeal.  The most approachable of these pinots right now, finishing with sweet notes of candied red berries and rose pastille.  This sexy wine is very enjoyable today but Tolmach is confident that it will age well.” – JR 93 Points


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