Culture / Foodie Events

A $70 California Pinot Noir That’s Worth Saving

Stash this Bottle and You’ll Be Pleased

BY // 10.10.16

The Savoy Vineyard, in California’s Anderson Valley, is a fine one. Close to the sea, it enjoys moderate temperatures in the daytime and produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for FEL Wines (part of the Lede Family Wines group). I tasted the 2014 FEL Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir a few days ago, and came away impressed with the vintage.

My initial impression brought forth something I at first couldn’t place, a deep and earthy note that, while certainly not shy, did not shout. I waited a few minutes, took another whiff, and delighted to some marvelous pine and mushroom. (This wine is definitely young, and will benefit from a few more years in the bottle.) Soft tannins and lively acidity reach good harmony here; you’ll appreciate the luscious mouthfeel.

FEL owner Cliff Lede, a Canadian who's done well in California.
FEL owner Cliff Lede, a Canadian who’s done well in California. (Courtesy FEL Wines)

If you like dark berry and stone fruit — plum here — this one is for you. There’s spiciness, of course, but it’s deft, as if cinnamon’s flavor had been reduced exponentially, leaving the “thought” of the spice. Finally, the mushroom/umami notes mingle with the whole in a way that pleased our group.

The FEL 2014 was released on October 1, in a production of 395 cases. It was aged for 15 months in French oak (53 percent new). Clones include several Dijon selections. This bottle retails for $70, so while perhaps not a daily pour, it deserves a place in your inventory. Drink in 2019.

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