Etude is the creation of one of California's most influential and successful winemakers/consultants, Tony Soter. While his clients include a list of Who's Who of California, Araujo Estate Wines, Spottswoode, Viader, Rubicon, Dalle Valle, and others, Soter also makes 5,000 cases of wine under his Etude label. He is a Pinot Noir enthusiast and about 60% of his total production is a Morey-St.-Denis/Domaine Dujac-inspired wine. He also fashions a powerful, rich Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, some tasty, light, fruity white wines. Soter often utilizes the French technique called saignee (bleeding off excess juice to concentrate the remainder), to increase the concentration of his Pinot Noir. The rose-colored juice is used to produce a lively, pure, crisp, strawberry and cherry-scented Rose of Pinot Noir...

Etude's Pinot Noir comes from cool vineyards in the Napa section of Carneros. It is a velvety-textured, complex, medium to full bodied, silky wine that requires no patience...Etude Cabernet Sauvignon grapes (about 1,500 cases of Cabernet, compared to 3,500 cases of Pinot Noir are produced) come from the Madrona and Vine Hill Ranch vineyards.

The wines, a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are aged in 60% new oak casks. This has been an increasingly powerful, rich wine reflecting the succession of exceptional vintages California has enjoyed...

Limited quantities (50 cases) of Pinot Gris were produced in 1994. This excellent wine is soft and buttery, with the chewy, plush, fatty texture of this varietal. Drink it over the next year. Even better is the 1994 Pinot Blanc. There are 350 cases of this delicious wine that is unquestionably one of the finest Pinot Blancs I have tasted from California.

- Robert Parker / The Wine Advocate -

Tasting and tours by appointment. Visitor facility to open in early 2005.

Etude Wines / 1250 Cuttings Wharf Rd. / Napa CA 94559 / 707-257-5300

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