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The Ojai Vineyard, 'Fe Ciega' Discipulo Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, California, 2021

Regular price $42.95 Sale price $48.00
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Overview of the Wine
Adam Tolmach went to UC Davis and studied viticulture and enology, and after graduating in 1976 he settled down on the property his grandfather bought in the Ojai Valley in 1933 to farm sweet corn and melons, selling them at a roadside stand. After two years of this satisfying, yet difficult and nearly profitless work he sought employment in his field of study.

Adam had planted a vineyard in Ojai to Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc and had begun producing wine from that fruit in 1983. When the collaboration with Clendenen ended he concentrated all his attention on The Ojai Vineyard to further explore the infinite details of his craft.

Looking back over the last 25 years, one can see the development of The Ojai Vineyard came in three distinct phases. In the beginning it was lots of fun discovering the budding Santa Barbara County, experimenting with new plantings, new areas, and a wide selection of varietals; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and other Rhone varietals. Back in 1983 the vines were grown without much care in what was called a California sprawl. It took years to get growers to move towards progressive practices like drip irrigation and vertical trellising to improved wine grape quality.

This 2021 bottling is our first of Discípulo, which is one expression of our terroir at Fe Ciega Vineyard. This cuvee is crafted around capturing the profound fruit that the Sta. Rita Hills offers, while the Devoto cuvee speaks to the more earthy, savory potential of the region.

The Dijon clones that comprise this cuvee, 115 and 667, were entirely destemmed to preserve this wine’s purity of fruit. We immediately inoculated with our house native yeast (cultured from grapes picked during sampling), then pumped the wine over twice daily until it was dry. We left it on the skins for a few more days for further extraction.

The wine aged on fine lees in French oak barrels (27% new) for 11 months. At that point the wine had terrific vibrancy and supple textures that we loved, so we bottled it just a bit early to help accentuate the differences between this wine and the other Fe Ciega cuvees.

Grape / Blend
100% Pinot Noir

Sta Rita Hills, California

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Discípulo showcases that intersection of fruity radiance and mouthwatering freshness which is unique to Pinot Noir from the Sta. Rita Hills. It’s all about capturing the fruit so that it’s center-stage, yet propulsively bright and sculpted by mineral cut. To that end, this wine is composed solely of the Dijon clones we have planted here, which were refined to produce riper flavors in marginal climates.

The wine shows a brilliant ruby red translucence, and the aromatics are effusive with dewy blossoms and sweet red fruits. Concentrated scents of raspberry coulis and strawberry are laced with bergamot and black tea, then you find rose, sea salt and tarragon in the high layers. The palate gives satiny cherry and raspberry up front, then mushroomy savor builds while spicy tannin plays with a supple and salivating salinity.

96 Points - Wine Enthusiast 
Tart cherry, crushed red and purple flowers and hints of soil and moss make for an extremely impressive nose on this bottling by Adam Tolmach. There is great structure and heft to the palate, where dark-plum, mulberry, pine-forest and tea-leaf flavors converge into a clean taut finish.

Product size: 750ml


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