92 Points - Buying Guide: Year’s Best Pinot Noirs - Wine & Spirits - April 2018
This grows in a single block in the Fort Ross Vineyard, where the terraces face southwest and the rocky, sandy loam soil is planted to the Calera clone. This is a sleek and powerfully oaked pinot — and even though that oak does not recede with air, the fruit comes forward and becomes the lasting floral fragrance. You might find this hard, brash and bitter if you open and drink it now, but with three days of air it shows some grandeur, as it should with several years in bottle.
94 Points - The Wine Advocate
The flagship Pinots at Fort Ross are clearly worth the trade-up. The 2014 Pinot Noir The Terraces reveals a pale to medium ruby-purple color with complex, earthy, herbal and mineral/crushed stones notes over black raspberries, pomegranate, lavender and violets. Light to medium-bodied, the palate is very fine, firm and multilayered, with a seamless backbone and great length. Only 132 cases were made. Drink Date: 2017 - 2025
This is a pure expression of a single clone from a unique terraced block that captures the essence and character of the Calera Clone. Alluring aromas of raspberry, dried cherry and pomegranate are framed by touches of lavender, cedar and forest floor. The elegant palate is defined by black raspberry and plum underscored by grounding earth, orange peel and savory spice notes. Supple yet youthful tannins give way to the captivating velvety texture that lingers throughout the plush finish. This multi-dimensional, beautifully integrated, finely structured Pinot Noir invites decanting and is certain to evolve gracefully for years to come.
2014 was the third year of bountiful harvests that again produced stellar wine of vibrancy and concentration. Protected from the drought by the late winter rains that quickly filled our pond, we could enjoy one of the few luxuries of being off the grid. As we train our grapes to grow on cordons, with evenly positioned buds that produce evenly placed shoots, we drop clusters that are not perfectly positioned. We worked through the vineyard three times to ensure that the bunches had optimal air circulation and sun exposure. The depth of flavor in the wines from this vintage reflect our meticulous handwork. August 17 marked the beginning of the harvest with picking a select block of Pinot Noir Dijon 777 for our Sparkling Wine. The remaining Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinotage ripened quickly and evenly and was harvested through September.
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 60% new and 40% neutral French oak. This cuvée is crafted from 100% Calera clone planted on our single terraced Block #11, with its steep South West aspect, slightly rocky Hugo Boomer sandy loam soils.