A few years ago, I attended a winemakers dinner featuring Etude wines, and not only did I get to taste the wines, I sat at the same table as the winemaker, Jon Priest. My real foray into wine was just beginning, and it was a great opportunity to talk to a real winemaker and pick his brain a little bit. I had also been fortunate enough to have tasted the Etude Deer Camp Pinot Noir previous to the evening, so I was eager to see what else was on the lineup. Fast forward to three months ago, when the rep for Etude wines came into the store with the Lyric Pinot Noir for me to sample. It’s no Deer Camp, Fiddlestix, or Heirloom Grace, but it was also made by Jon Priest and I was eager to try it. In the end, I have no regrets in bringing in this wine and for the price, it is just as delicious as the higher end ones. Jon’s philosophy is simple:
“Etude was founded on the philosophy that winemaking begins in the vineyard long before the harvest and that superior grape growing diminishes the need for intervention by the winemaker, resulting in authentic varietal expression. This remains our approach today as we continue to build the Etude legacy.”
– Jon Priest
Lyric by Etude is from the Santa Barbara County area~further south on the Central Coast, and actually is made with fruit from the Fiddlestix vineyard. I love the cool climate Pinots from down here! It’s automatic to think that this area is hot because it’s California. It’s coastal and benefits from cool breezes off the Pacific which helps to retain acidity in the grapes and keeps them from ripening too fast. This is a lovely pale ruby in the glass with notes of red cherries, strawberries, raspberries, sweet spice and that oh so familiar Pinot flint that I always get! On the palate it is smooth and balanced with high acidity and smooth, medium tannins with more of that fresh fruit and spices! A really well-made Pinot at a very good price! On the shelf for $32.95, this is a great summer red! Cheers!