A heady bouquet of rose petals introduces an intriguing mix of fruit and spice notes that range from raspberry to ripe black cherry and sassafras. This complex wine is a reflection of the slow ripening during the long 2003 growing season. As the wine rests in the glass, the complex favors continue to evolve and unfold. This well structured, full bodied wine has supple tannins that continue through the powerful and lingering finish.
Our 2003 Pinot Noir offers and intriguing mix of fruit and spice notes ranging from raspberry and rose petal to cola and ripe black cherry. The wine is a reflection of the slow ripening that took place during the unusually long 2003 vintage. As the wine rests in the glass, the complex flavors continue to evolve and unfold. This well structured, full-bodied wine has supple tannins that continue through the powerful and lingering finish.
The grapes for this Pinot Noir were handpicked in the cool early morning hours in 5 gallon buckets. After hand sorting, the fruit was cold soaked for several days and fermented in a combination of 1 and 5 ton fermenters. The caps were punched down 1, 2 or 3 times per day, depending on the stage of the fermentation. The wines were then barreled in a combination of 50% new and 50% used French oak. Throughout the 15 months of barrel aging, the clones and different vineyard blocks were kept separate to maintain their distinct flavor profiles and structural components as blending elements. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Following the near perfect vintage of 2002, 2003 lived up to the challenge and provided Fort Ross with wonderfully ripe Pinot Noir. Although there were significant heat waves in early September 2003, the vineyard's marine-moderated climate allowed the Pinot Noir to ripen slowly and fully into early October.