The Stagecoach Road cuvée is sourced from the blocks located where the old Stagecoach road used to run through our vineyard and where the famous Highwayman Black Bart robbed the Wells Fargo Bank Stagecoach in 1877. This wine has a deep garnet color and combines aromas of blueberry, violets, hints of wisteria blossom, anise and mocha. On the palate it is layered with black currants, black cherry and fleshy black plums.
San Francisco Chronicle, Julie Albin
The Stagecoach Road Pinot Noir is silky to the touch and well-balanced with exuberant notes of redcurrant, crushed violets, sandalwood and dark chocolate.
Enticing with its layered aromas of dark blueberry and fresh violets, this cuvée is framed with a subtle yet precise hint of wisteria blossom and wild forest floor. On the palate, it is layered with black currants, black cherry and fleshy black plums, while also supple, plush and texturally rich with dense and refined tannins, perfectly balanced with the bright minerality that is a signature of all wines from Fort Ross Vineyard. This wine is drinking beautifully now and will cellar for years to come.
The 2012 vintage got off to a very slow start. It was cold and wet throughout the spring so the buds did not swell until surprisingly late in the season. As budbreak was so late, the weather was generally warm and stable during bloom – except for one worrying rainy day that did not affect the crop – only our composure. With such a late start to the vintage, there was less time left to ripen the grapes so we dropped a fair amount of fruit early on so that each vine would have less fruit to ripen and the harvest would not stretch on into inclement weather. The season veered between cold and extreme heat. We harvested when the weather was cooler and we were very satisfied with the quality of the fruit.
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 40% new and 60% neutral 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. These grapes are sourced from specific blocks where the old stagecoach road used to run though our vineyard and where Black Bart the famous
“Gentleman Bandit” Highwayman robbed the Wells Fargo Stagecoach in 1877.