Sta. Rita Hills
Fe Ciega is a small vineyard comprised of nine acres of Pinot Noir farmed smack dab in the middle of Sta Rita Hills, on the richer clay soils in the southern half of the appellation near the Santa Ynez River. Since 2003 we’ve been lucky to get a third of the fruit (along with Rick Longoria, who planted it, and the folks over at Foxen) and it’s a long-standing favorite of all of us here at The Ojai Vineyard.
This site is well exposed as it faces South, and with the richer clay loam that has always given us a brawny, complex Pinot Noir. This wine can be a head trip—you wonder if it’s explosively fruity, or explosively earthy? It advances across the palate with a rich tapestry of red fruits like cherry, pomegranate concentrate and racy blood orange. That comes in equal parts with black tea tannin, iron, dusty five spice and aromas laced with danker notions of wool and moss.
Like many of our vineyards in the pinnacle drought vintage of 2015, Fe Ciega suffered punishingly low yields. So while it’s a fantastic wine there isn’t much to go around. For those who get their hands on this—if you open this wine soon and pour straight to the glass, it’ll be the bottle’s last sips left that reveal the wine’s true beauty. Decant it for now, or wait 6-8 years after the vintage.
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir | Alc: 13.0% | Vinification: Traditional open top fermentation with 15% whole clusters| Barrel Aging: 15 Months in French oak barrels, 20% new | Total Production 256 Cases
“One of my favorites in the lineup was the 2015 Pinot Noir Fe Ciega, which comes from a terrific site in the Sta. Rita Hills. Offering terrific, fruit forward notes of framboise, ripe cherries, spice and flowers all flow from this classic, elegant Pinot Noir. It has a sappy, grippy style, plenty of salty minerality and fine tannin. Give it a year.”- JD 94 Points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2015 Pinot Noir Fe Ciega Vineyard is a very beautiful, impeccably balanced wine. There is lovely purity to the sweet red berry fruit. Attractive floral and savory notes give the wine its distinctive aromatic signature, but here those elements are subtly layered rather than dominant. Deceptively medium in body, the 2015 is quite reticent and in need of time to fully unwind.” – AG 92+ points