Fortitude is a new brand produced at the Etude winery aimed at expressing the grape growers’ original intentions. This is an old-style field blend of Charbono, Zinfandel, Carignane and Petite Sirah grown up-valley, near Calistoga. Lovely dark fruit and spice aromas include a few turns of cracked black pepper, then the palate adds some crisp acids to pull everything…
Fortitude is a new brand from Tony Soter, of Etude fame. The grapes for this wine come from a Calistoga vineyard. It’s very dry, quite tart in acids, and minerally-citrusy, without the buttery, nutty quality of California Semillon, but it’s a very elegant wine. Think of a cross between Albariño and Pinot Grigio. Sommeliers: Great by-the-glass wine.
The variety is Valdiguié, from old vines grown in Calistoga, with smaller amounts of Barbera, Tempranillo, Primitivo and Syrah from elsewhere, which makes it sound like the modern equivalent of an old field blend. It’s a wonderful rosé, bone dry and so high in acidity it’s a little sour, with subtle, complex herb, strawberry, dried flower and tobacco flavors.