- Producer: FEL Wines
- Winemaker: Ryan Hodgins
- Region (AVA): Anderson Valley (Anderson Valley)
- Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
- Vintage production: 468 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.
The FEL Estate Savoy Vineyard, long recognized as a benchmark vineyard in Anderson Valley, is located in the “Deep End” of the valley, west of the town of Philo. The maritime influence and moderate daytime temperatures contribute to the wine’s elegant flavor profile and silky tannins. This wine is made of a blend of clones including several Dijon selections, Pommard, Martini, and Calera.
The fruit was harvested in four picks on September 20th and 27th and October 4th and 11th at an average of 24.0° Brix. It then went through a seven-day cold soak at 50°F, a nine-day primary fermentation, peaking between 90 and 94°F, and a five to seven day extended maceration. The wine was aged sixteen months in 60-gallon French oak barrels, 25% of which were new. Coopers include 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 Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
"This lovely, fragrant wine is abundantly fruity and subtly spicy, blending ripe strawberry and red-cherry flavors with absolutely tempting cinnamon, clove and cedar spices. It has a generous, mouthfilling texture lifted by a touch of tannin and fresh acidity."
94 points, Wine Enthusiast (Jan. 2020)