This is the highlight of the 2009 vintage and only 303 cases were produced. Reserve Pinot Noir is produced from the very best twelve barrels of the vintage. It typifies the elegance of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, expressing purity of fruit complemented by smooth, silky texture.
94 Points - James Suckling
This is a gorgeous wine with complex aromas and flavors of strawberry and spices with hints of briny beef. Voluptuous mouthfeel. Very balanced tannins. All here.
93 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Classic Fort Ross Pinot Noir, this is rich and textural. The flavors of raspberry parfait and cherry pie are spicy, honeyed and brightened by acidity. Drink now, but it will slowly evolve in the bottle over the next eight years. —S.H.
91 Points - Wine Advocate
The 2009 Pinot Noir Reserve possesses a deeper color and ratchets up the level of concentration. Copious aromas of forest floor, spring flowers, sweet strawberries and cherries, roasted herbs and spice are found in this beautiful, expressive Pinot. It is ideal for drinking over the next 3-4 years. These are impressive offerings from Fort Ross. -Robert Parker
90 Points - Wine Spectator
Offers lots of smoky, toasty oak, with fruit to match, cloaking rich dark berry flavors that are intense, deep and persistent. Shows impressive purity, backbone and density. Needs time. Best from 2014 through 2023. —JL
★★★★★ EXCEPTIONAL - Restaurant Wine, Ronn Wiegand MW/MS
Subtle and elegant.... The Reserve is outstanding: a rich, full bodied wine with supple texture, light tannin, and a long finish, tasting of plum, raspberry, toast, rosehips, and spicy oak. Very fine quality. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. 303 cases.
From our mountain vineyard on the “True Sonoma Coast”, Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery produces limited quantities of single vineyard, Estate grown, cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinotage. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean less than one mile away, the vineyard is divided into 30 blocks, one-half to two acres in size, that rapidly fall from 1700 down to 1200 feet above sea level. Owners, Lester and Linda Schwartz, and their small crew began preparing the 50 acre vineyard in 1994. It took them 4 years of preparation before they could begin planting the first vines in 1998.
2009 was an excellent year for the early ripening Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on the Sonoma Coast. The year began with a warm January but soon turned cold. The year was generally cooler than usual throughout the major part of the growing season and this coolness gave the wines their vibrant character. In the 3rd week of September there was a heat spike that concentrated the flavors that had been teasingly on the verge. The entire vineyard was harvested in four exhausting days to capitalize on the even ripening, intense flavors and luscious fruit. All grapes were harvested and in barrel before the damaging rains of October.
The grapes for this Pinot Noir were handpicked during the cool hours of the night in 5 gallon buckets. 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 40% new and 60% used French oak. Throughout the 10 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.
Cases Produced: 303