FEL Wines Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley 2019

Medium ruby color; cherry, raspberry on the nose; cherry, redcurrant, strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, plum, fig, vanilla, oak toast, cinnamon on the palate.

FEL Wines Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley 2019

Dry; medium tannins and acidity; medium body. Balanced, supple, sleek, delicious. Good example of cool-climate pinot noir. Grapes come from the winery’s Savoy Vineyard, located in the “deep end” of the valley, west of the town of Philo. The winery notes: “The maritime influence and moderate daytime temperatures contribute to the wine’s elegant flavor profile and silky tannins. This blend is a barrel selection from subsections of the vineyard that showcase the most striking qualities of California’s heritage clones. The 2019 Heritage Clones is made up of five barrels of young Calera and one barrel of young Martini.” 14.1% ABV

This is a Cliff Lede (pronounced Lay-Dee) operation. It is named after his mother, Florence Else Lede, “Cliff Lede’s mother, a home winemaker who provided the early inspiration for Cliff’s love of wine.” The FEL label with an illustration of an opening tulip is a tribute to Florence’s passion for gardening. In 2009, Lede acquired a small winery in the Anderson Valley and renamed it for his mother.

Cliff Lede

The website notes: “The winemaking philosophy at Lede Family Wines has always been one of minimal intervention that allows the wines to demonstrate a sense of place. Cliff Lede Vineyards, Poetry, and FEL Wines form a complementary portfolio of wines that are consistently exceptional in quality and true to their source and vintage.”

Cliff Lede winemaker Christopher Tynan

Cliff Lede established his base operation in 2002 on what was the S. Anderson Vineyard, a site first developed by Stanley and Carol Anderson. The Andersons—he was a dentist, she the winemaker—are now deceased. They built a reputation for sparkling wine. Today, Cliff Lede is the proprietor. He is from Leduc, Alberta, Canada, a small town south of Edmonton. He and his brother helped run Leduc Construction—later named Ledor Construction—a business their father built in the 1940s. Eventually, the family built the business into one of the world’s largest construction companies. That allowed their adventure in the wine world.

FEL Wines Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley 2019 is balanced, tasty, gentle on the tannins and acidity. Smooth, easy drinker, checks off all the California pinot noir boxes. Darker fruit palate pleaser from a quality maker. Pair with lamb; salmon and rich fish; turkey, duck, chicken (not fried); lighter red meats; veal. Cheese—fresh cheeses, mixed milk cheeses, soft goat cheeses; burrata, mozzarella, feta, mascarpone, rocchetta. $43-46

FEL Wines website

Cliff Lede Vineyards website

FEL-Lede winery (Bob McClenahan)
Savoy Estate Vineyard
FEL-Lede fermentation tanks (Bob McClenahan)
Cliff Lede fermentation facility
Cliff Lede tasting area
Cliff Lede vineyard installation
Cliff Lede vineyard
Cliff Lede green certifications (Bob McClenahan)