Our 2013 Symposium has a delicate, slightly hazy ruby hue and is distinguished from other Fort Ross Pinot Noirs by its masculine, savory notes of leather, baking spices and notes of black truffle. Complex layers of earthy bramble, red stone fruits and black raspberry blend seamlessly with hints of mulling spices, orange rind and dried flower petals. The suave, sumptuous texture carries through restrained tannins and the plush finish. The extra years in our cellar had been worth the wait as this wine is beautifully integrated.
After heavy winter rains, the spring was warm and dry, followed by a dry summer. The vines began growing quickly and fruitfully. To keep the crop load modest, we went through the vineyard three times to thin the crop and position the canes and the bunches. After an unexpected rainfall in mid-September, the vineyard had time to dry out before the harvest began. The Pinot Noir blocks were harvested between September 12 – 26, the Chardonnay blocks between September 20 – 22 and the Pinotage on October 1.
The grapes for this Pinot Noir were handpicked during the cool hours of the night in 2 gallon trays. After hand sorting, the fruit was cold soaked for several days and fermented in a combination of 5 and 10 ton tanks. The caps were punched down 1 or 2 times per day, depending on the stage of the fermentation. The wines were then barreled in a combination of 25% new and 75% neutral French oak. Throughout the 11 months of barrel aging, the clones and different vineyard lots were kept separate to maintain their distinct flavor profiles and structural components as blending elements. The wine was bottled unfined & unfiltered. After extensive blending trials we decided on 96% Pinot Noir with 4% Pinotage.