2006 Arcadian "Fiddlestix Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1053383

93 points from Allen Meadows' Burghound: "Joe Davis' goal is to create serious, long-lived and intense Burgundian styled wines and to that end, he typically uses a high proportion of whole clusters. In 2006 Davis indicated that he used between and 60 and 90% stems and noted that the '06s, along with the '04s, are among the ripest wines that he has ever made. Readers should note that because of the presence of stems during the vinification, the texture and mouth feel of his wines are decidedly different than much of what you will usually taste from California and Oregon. Not surprisingly, stylistically the wines do indeed closely resemble the Burgundian model and it would require a careful taster to identify many of the Arcadian wines as US pinots. The average '06 received 27 months of élevage. A distinctly floral nose is elegant and pure while showcasing ripe and spicy red pinot fruit that is in perfect keeping with the intense, earthy and serious middle weight flavors that are wonderfully balanced, long and palate staining on the lingering finish. This beauty has everything it needs to reward 6 to 10 years of cellar time. In a word, terrific." (10/1/2009) 92 points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Energetic strawberry, redcurrant, blood orange and mineral scents are complicated by a hint of licorice. Delicate and finely etched, with sweet red fruit and cherry flavors given spine by a zesty minerality that resonates on the long, juicy finish." (Nov/Dec '09)

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Price: $34.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some RhĂ´ne blends.