As Santa Barbara County’s northernmost AVA, Santa Maria Valley is renowned for its unique funnel created by two transverse mountain ranges running east by west. Pinot Noir excels in this well-known transverse valley that, despite its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, is uniquely situated just north of Point Conception, right where the climate is warm and mild enough to ripen grapes to full maturity.
"Plump red-cherry and bursting pomegranate aromas mesh with cinnamon, grape Jolly Rancher and crushed violets on the deliciously dynamic nose of this bottling. There is great freshness and zip to the sip, where a cohesive medley of cranberry, raspberry, Earl Grey tea and peppery spices unite. The tannins are firm but hidden until the finish." - Matt Kettmann, May 2018
The signature for North Canyon Pinot Noir is a recognizable darker red fruit tone, and this vintage is no exception. Crafted from vines that on average are 25 years old, aromas and flavors of dark cherry pie, sour cherry and black cherry dominant, accented with oak spice and red tea. Bright acidity gives way to a broad and textured mid-palate that is nicely balanced, with the promise that a little time will see further complexity develop, providing a lasting and memorable statement.
After three years of plentiful harvests in Santa Barbara County, the 2015 vintage brought low, but outstanding yields. A mild winter and spring with almost no rain allowed the fruit to ripen at a very steady and deliberate pace, and picking began a few weeks earlier than ever before. The drier-than-normal conditions and the region's abundant sunshine contributed to the smaller bunch and berry size and low yields, resulting in wines with excellent concentration.
Less than 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean, North Canyon Vineyard sits along the Santa Maria river bench in a secluded canyon that provides some protection from the region's renowned maritime influences. Located a bit off the direct valley, temperatures are often a few degrees warmer and North Canyon is exposed to extended periods of sunshine that ensure Pinot Noir matures to a bright red fruit character. A variety of rootstocks and clones are planted in calcareous clay sandstone at North Canyon, which differs from the valley's defining marine mixture of ancient sea bed, clay loam and sand. Fruit from one select block, located on a bluff in the southern, cooler end of the canyon, was chosen for this Pinot Noir. In order to achieve the same high level of quality wines, the farming of North Canyon is uniquely hands on, which ensures viticulture practices and farming measures are comparable with that of Etude's Estate Vineyards.
Crafted with the same minimal winemaking techniques as Etude's celebrated Carneros Pinot Noirs, each regional wine purely reflects the unique essence and character of its regional vineyard and still maintains Etude's hallmarks of aromatic intrigue, vibrancy of expression and depth in ageability.
For more than a decade Jon has fashioned Etude wines with a simple creed. Inspired winegrowing diminishes the need for a winemaker to intervene in the cellar. Whether sourcing from the estate Grace Benoist Ranch in Sonoma's Los Carneros, or vineyards like Fiddlestix and North Canyon in famed growing regions of California's Central Coast, his focus is on coaxing the very best from the vineyard. It shows in every glass of Etude.
|Oak Treatment||Aged in 100% French oak barrels for 10 months, 25% new|
|Blend||100% Pinot Noir|