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Lede Family Wines will be releasing a collection of Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines crafted by winemaker Ryan Hodgins using fruit sourced from Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast, including the estate Savoy Vineyard.
The Breggo Cellars brand was purchased in 2009 and the name changed to FEL Wines. FEL is a tribute to proprietor Cliff Lede's mother, Florence Elsie Lede, who made her own wines in the basement of their home and sparked Lede's curiosity in wine when he was in his youth.
In 2011, Lede purchased the Savoy Vineyard. First planted in 1991, the vineyard encompasses 44 acres (29 acres of Pinot Noir) planted to a diverse array of Dijon and heritage Pinot Noir and Chardonnay clones divided into 34 sub-blocks. Soils are primarily sedimentary with marine uplift and deposits of gravel on slopes leading to the Navarro River. Fruit is sold to Littorai, Radio-Coteau, Auteur, Failla and Peay.
Winemaker Ryan Hodgins has a degree in viticulture and enology from UC Davis. His winemaking experience includes Witness Tree Vineyard in Salem, Oregon, Acacia Vineyard in Napa, and Krishna Valley Winery in India. In 2005, he as an assistant winemaker and viticulturist at Hanzell Vineyards, and while at Hanzell, became the founding consulting winemaker for Breggo Cellars.
FEL's first releases arrived on March 1, 2014 and included the 2012 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir and the 2012 Anderson Valley Chardonnay. Subsequent releases include an Anderson Valley Pinot Gris, an estate Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and wines from grower partners Donnelly Creek, Ferrington, Wiley and Hirsch. In select vintages, a Spiritus Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir is produced.
Tasting of Cliff Lede Vineyards and FEL wines is available in a 1913 Craftsman-style tasting room in Yountville, open daily.
2014 FEL Anderson Valley Pinot Gris
14.2% alc., 1, 437 cases, RS 0.35%, $25. Released May 1, 2015. A blend of fruit from Wiley Vineyard, Filigreen Vineyard and Donnelly Creek Vineyard. Harvest Brix 23.6º. Whole cluster pressed, fermented in a 900 gallon French oak oval, small neutral French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. · Light golden yellow with a faint pink caste in the glass. Don’t underestimate Pinot Gris - there is plenty to like in this wine. Aromas of nectarine, peach, melon, pine, herbs and floral bouquet. Bright, crisp, clean and refreshing with flavors of apple, stone fruits, melon, lychee and herbs. The flavors really cling to the palate. A very complex wine that changes over time in the glass, and will perform beautifully at the dinner table. Score: 92. Reviewed May 4, 2015 ARTICLE »
2014 FEL Anderson Valley Chardonnay
14.2% alc., 1,441 cases, $28. Released December 1, 2015. A blend of numerous heritage selections and Dijon clones sourced from several vineyards including Ferrington and Savoy. Harvest Brix 23.1º. Whole cluster pressed, fermented in neutral French oak barrels with limited malolactic fermentation. Aged on the lees in 60-gallon neutral French oak barrels for 9 months. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of yellow-fleshed stone fruits, lemon oil and meadow lead to a bright and crisp palate of lemon, melon and peach flavors with a hint of roasted nuts and butter brickle. A refreshing wine that is not excessively adorned with oak and picks up interest over time in the glass, finishing with a lengthy, citrus-driven finish. Score: 89. Reviewed April 22, 2016 ARTICLE »
2014 FEL Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., 2,634 cases, $38. Release April 1, 2016. A blend of clones including Pommard, Mt Eden, Martini and Dijon from Donnelly Creek, Savoy, Wiley and Ferrington vineyards. Harvest Brix 24.6º. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of darker fruits including black cherry. Robust and full-bodied on the palate, with flavors of black cherry, blackberry, Asian 5- spice, and tobacco. Very much a big and riper wine in this vintage with noticeable tannins that ameliorate over time in the glass. The fruit-driven finish lingers with purpose. Score: 90. Reviewed April 22, 2016 ARTICLE »
2014 FEL Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Chardonnay
14.5% alc., $48. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Highly engaging aromas of lemon curd, Golden Delicious apple, buttery brioche, crème brûlée and a touch of spice. Delicious flavors of lemon, pineapple, pear, spice and caramel are complimented by crisp acidity in a bold quintessential California style barrel fermented Chardonnay that offers both abundant fruit flavor as well as quenching vibrancy. Score: 94. Reviewed October 30, 2016 ARTICLE »
2014 FEL Savoy Estate Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., $70. Planted by Richard Savoy in 1991, the 44-acre vineyard is located just west of the town of Philo. Dijon and heritage clones of Pinot Noir. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry pie, blackberry preserves and spice are attention getting. Luscious and saucy, with mid weight flavors of black cherry and blackberry complimented by oak seasoning in the background. Silk and satin in the mouth, with admirable vibrancy, slightly astringent tannins, and a charge of fruit on the lengthy finish. Score: 92. Reviewed October 30, 2016 ARTICLE »
2013 FEL Anderson Valley Chardonnay
14.2% alc., 1,201 cases, $28. Released October 1, 2014. A blend of multiple clones sourced from Ferrington and Savoy vineyards. Harvest Brix averaged 23.0º. Whole cluster pressed to tank, fermented in neutral French oak barrels with limited malolactic fermentation. Aged sur lie 9 months in neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately light straw yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of citrus, tropical fruits and apple hold up nicely over time in the glass. Richly fruited, yet crisp and vibrant, with a vigorous mid palate attack of citrus. Very satisfying, with subtle notes of pear and roasted nuts, finish with a bright charge of lemon-lime spirit. Score: 90. Reviewed May 4, 2015 ARTICLE »
2013 FEL Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., 2,347 cases, $38. Released May 1, 2015. A blend of several clones and selections including Dijon, Pommard, Mt. Eden and Martini from Donnelly Creek, Savoy, Wiley and Ferrington vineyards. Harvest average Brix 24.7º. 5 to 7 day cold soak, 9-day uninoculated primary fermentation, and 3 to 7 day extended maceration. Aged 14 months in 100% French oak barrels, 38% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Hi-tone scents of black cherry, red currant and spice lead to a mid weight plus charge of black cherry, black raspberry fruits accented with a pleasing spice note. The wine has balanced tannins, integrated acidity, and some length. This is a terrific AVA blend that is primed for current drinking. Score: 91. Reviewed May 4, 2015 ARTICLE »
2013 FEL Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., 2,347 cases, $38. A blend of several clones from several Anderson Valley vineyards. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 38% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very ripe fruited aromas of fig, raisin, blackberry jam and a hint of vanilla. Full-bodied and ultra ripe in character featuring an array of black fruits and a note of bacon infused dark chocolate. Very concentrated and sappy, but balanced with a soothing texture. A bit of astringency returns at the end of the finish. (I reviewed this wine previously May 2015 and was more praising, with a score of 91 then) Score: 89. Reviewed July 24, 2016 ARTICLE »
2013 FEL Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Chardonnay
14.2% alc., 138 cases, $48. This wine is made from a blend of Wente, Prosser and Dijon clones from the winery’s estate vineyard near Philo. Averaged harvest Brix 24.1º. Whole cluster pressed to tank and barrel fermented in 50% new French oak barrels. Aged 15 months sur lie. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. The fresh aromas of citrus, blood orange and a hint of oak leap from the glass. A slight note of reduction resolves quickly. Very lovely and refined with an excellent spark of somewhat steely acidity, featuring flavors of lemon, apple and spice. Crisp and bright, with the fruit speaking far more than oak. Score: 92. Reviewed November 5, 2015 ARTICLE »
2013 FEL Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., 605 cases, $70. A blend of clones including several Dijon and Pommard clones along with Martini and Calera selections. Harvest Brix averaged 24.2º. 7-day cold soak, a 9-day uninoculated primary fermentation and a 7 to 14-day extended maceration. The was aged 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, 59% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of black cherry and black raspberry fruit with savory notes of herbs and tea leave. More expressive on the palate with a charge of well-spiced dark red and black fruits that alert the senses and expand to a mouth coating presence. The intense fruit soaks up the high percentage of new oak nicely. Still young and tight, needing time to ameliorate the tannins, but the future looks bright. Score: 91-92. Reviewed November 5, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 FEL Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., 2,923 cases, $38. 2012 was a remarkable vintage for Pinot Noir in the Anderson Valley and this wine reflects it beautifully. Aged 14 months in 100% French oak barrels, 44% of which were new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Plenty to like about this wine which offers luscious cherry and pomegranate flavors enhanced with notes of herbs and anise. Bright and juicy, and very welcoming, with an elegant demeanor. Score: 90-91. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 FEL Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Chardonnay
14.2% alc., 138 cases, $48. Released December 2014. A blend of clones including Wente and Martini selections. Harvest Brix 23.6º. Whole cluster pressed to tank, barrel fermented in 50% new French oak, aged sur lie for 15 months. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. The nose leads with aromas of fig, lychee, citrus, flower basket and buttery brioche. Some California fruit exuberance, with flavors of pear, lemon, white peach, and a deft touch of oak. Smooth and slightly viscous on the palate, with tight acidity lifting the finish. Score: 90. Reviewed May 4, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 FEL Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., 382 cases, $65. Released February 1, 2015. A blend of Dijon 777 and Pommard clones. Harvest Brix average 24.3º. 7-day cold soak, 6-day extended maceration. Aged 14 months in 100% French oak barrels, 62% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The complex nose offers an array of scents including dark red berries and cherries, balsam, spice, meadow and a hint of vanilla. The bright black cherry and raspberry fruits offer good lift and energy. Discreetly concentrated, the wine sports balanced tannins and deft integration of oak. Much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, with more expressive fruit aromas and flavors and more length on the finish. Like the Savoy bottling, this wine should easily age for 10 years. Score: 93. Reviewed May 4, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 FEL Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., 645 cases, $65. Inaugural release. 7-day cold soak and 7-day extended post-fermentation maceration. Aged 14 months in 100% French oak barrels, 56% of which were new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Bold aromas of black cherry, toast and spice echoed on the discreetly concentrated palate that sports firm, ripe tannins. The wine really grabs your attention now, but will develop further over time. Score: 92-94. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 FEL Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., 645 cases, $65. Released December 1, 2014. A blend of clones including Dijon and Pommard, as well as Martini and Calera selections. Harvest Brix average 24.6º. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of fresh black cherry, rose petal and spice, with some cedary oak chiming in over time. Layer upon layer of gorgeous black cherry, kirsch and black raspberry goodness envelope the palate. A sexy, suave wine that is plush and velvety in the mouth, yet there is enough acidity to keep the experience fresh and vibrant. Nothing is out of place in this magnificent wine that finishes with a flourish of perfectly ripened black stone fruits. I ran out of superlatives with this one, but WOW sums it up. Still terrific the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating good age ability. Score: 95. Reviewed May 4, 2015 ARTICLE »