As regular readers know, RN Estate Winery in Paso Robles is one of our favorites. We have been wine club members there for longer than we can remember. Last night I discovered two 2019 pinots from the Santa Rita Hills. This provided a rare opportunity for an RN Estate 2019 Santa Rita Hills pinot noir horizontal.
The two vineyards are La Encantada and Fiddlestix. We learned that terroir matters. A lot.
The La Encantada opens with notes of cranberry, bing cherry, and undertones of rose petals. On the palate, bright acid with notes of red raspberry and black cherries. Terrific mouth feel, you’ll want to slosh this one around a little. Long, complex finish with silky tannins and layered acidity.
Fiddlestix actually could use another year in the bottle. It’s bigger and more tannic. Swirl vigorously to bring up the subtle notes of cherries and raspberries. The palate is cranberries, black cherries, and forest floor. Another one to slosh in your mouth. The finish is longer and more pronounced than the La Encantada. The Fiddlestix has less acid than La Encantada, but the same nice layering finish.
Both vineyards are on the south edge of the AVA. Ironically, they are closest to the ocean:
That location gives them cool nights and warm days. The two vineyards are virtually adjacent. There is more to terroir than climate. It would be interesting to compare soil composition, altitude, slope of the vineyard, and other factors. But these two bottles show that terroir matters.
I would be negligent if I did not mention a book I’m proud to have reviewed. John Buechsenstein and Tim Patterson wrote “Wine and Place: A Terroir Reader.” This book is a must-own for any serious wine fan. Highly recommended.