- Producer: FEL Wines
- Winemaker: Ryan Hodgins
- Region (AVA): Anderson Valley (Anderson Valley)
- Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
- Vintage production: 4,532 cases
- Winery location: Anderson Valley
- Owners: Cliff Lede
- First vintage: 2012
- Drinking window: 2020-2030
About The Wine
FEL Wines produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris from the Anderson Valley and the Sonoma Coast. Meticulously crafted by Winemaker Ryan Hodgins, FEL also features a unique portfolio of vineyard designate wines, including both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the estate Savoy Vineyard. The letters in FEL represent Florence Elsie Lede, founder Cliff Lede’s mother, a home winemaker who provided the early inspiration for Cliff’s love of wine.
Growing up in Alberta, Canada, Cliff remembers the tulip as signifying the end of winter, bringing with it a freshness and excitement of warmer days ahead. The FEL Wines label, featuring an illustration of an opening tulip, is a tribute to Florence’s passion for gardening.
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir, made of a blend of select clones including Pommard, Mt. Eden, Martini, and Dijon from vineyards including the expressive Ferrington and Donnelly Creek vineyards, both located just outside the town of Boonville, and FEL's estate Savoy Vineyard, long recognized as a benchmark vineyard in Anderson Valley.
The fruit was harvested September 10th through October 11th at an average of 24.3° Brix. It then went through a five to seven-day cold soak at 55°F, a nine-day primary fermentation peaking at 88-92°F, and a three-day extended maceration. The wine was aged sixteen months in 60-gallon French oak barrels, 38% of which were new. Coopers include Cadus, Rousseau, Atelier, Quintessence, Tremeaux, and Sirugue.
The 2018 vintage will be remembered for its consistently mild weather and even growing conditions. A dry winter turned into a very wet March, which replenished the ground water and refilled the ponds. After a final rainstorm in early April, the weather turned pleasant and sunny, with only a handful of days breaking 80°F before mid-June. The weather was perfect for bloom and the result was a larger than normal number of grape berries per cluster. Careful thinning in the vineyards prevented the abundant crop from becoming diluted. The summer progressed without any notable heat spikes until a small heat wave in late September, after most of the grapes had been already harvested. The wines from 2018 are fruit-forward and have a fresh acidity that will allow them to age well for many years.
FEL Wines Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2018
"Concentrated but also nervy in texture, this full-bodied wine is driven by pure black-cherry and raspberry flavors while oak accents of cinnamon and nutmeg stay just under the surface."
93 points, Wine Enthusiast (Jan. 2020)