> 2005 Taz Pinot Noir, Fiddlestix Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills

2007 Taz Pinot Noir, Fiddlestix Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills

2006 Taz Pinot Gris, Santa Barbara

Unusually chilly temperatures and below average rainfall ushered in the 2007 growing season, but warm temperatures in spring and early summer provided ideal conditions. Modest crop levels, perfect weather, and a brief heat spell in August promised an early harvest, but I decided that the flavors needed time to catch up. That decision was rewarded as temperatures moderated, and the vintage yielded an outstanding crop.

The Fiddlestix Vineyard continues to amaze me. It is a 96-acre patchwork of 33 blocks of Pinot Noir, featuring a selection of six clones, five rootstocks and soils ranging from rocky clay loams on the slopes to sandy and silt loams in the flats. Each year the vineyard seems to magically ripen in a perfect pattern, first the flats and then the hills. As it ages, Fiddlestix continues to reveal itself in new ways and there is still much to discover.

The 2007 Fiddlestix Pinot Noir shines with its characteristic depth and complexity. The nose opens with layered aromas of brambles, blueberry, black plum, vanilla and baking spices. The palate is well-structured with notes of cherry compote, anise, cardamom and a hint of earthiness. The grapes for this wine were hand picked and sorted in the field, then gently destemmed and fermented separately in small, open top fermenters. The majority of the lots underwent natural fermentation with native yeasts. Each lot was aged separately for 13 months in French oak barrels (70% new).
-- Natasha Boffman, Winemaker

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