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Fort Ross Vineyard

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate reviews wines on the following 100-point scale:

96 -100:
An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase, and consume.

An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines.


March 2016

"These are impressive Burgundian-style Pinot Noirs that merit serious attention.” - Robert Parker

94 2014 Chardonnay
The 2014 Chardonnay Fort Ross Vineyard is a beauty. It spent 10 months in 30% new French oak (785 cases) and shows notes of crushed wet rock, crisp orange blossom, white currant and discrete oak. Some poached pear also makes an impression in this unfined and unfiltered Chardonnay that should drink nicely for 5 to 7 years. Early -  Drink 2016-2023

93 2012 Pinot Noir
The 2012 Pinot Noir Fort Ross Vineyard has notes of black raspberries, kirsch, baking spices, subtle earth and a hint of gravel-like minerality. The wine has terrific fruit on the attack and mid-palate, medium to full body, and a long finish. This is a beauty to drink over the next decade. Early - Drink 2016-2026

93 2012 Pinot Noir Symposium
The 2012 Pinot Noir Symposium was aged in 20% new French oak and is actually the only wine that is not 100% Pinot Noir. It is blended with – of all things – 4% Pinotage. There are plenty of sweet cherries, raspberries and floral notes, followed by an earthy, spicy, medium-bodied wine with good structure and finely tuned tannins. The acidity is good and the wine fresh, pure and delicious. Early - Drink 2016-2026

91 2011 Pinot Noir Reserve
The 2011 Pinot Noir Reserve is a tiny cuvée of less than 100 cases in this more challenging vintage. Aged in 40% new French oak for about 10 months, the wine exhibits loads of baking spices, black tea, a floral note, plum, pomegranate and cranberry notes in a medium-bodied, velvety style. Drink it over the next decade.  Early - Drink 2016-2026

90 2013 Pinot Noir Sea Slopes
The 2013 Pinot Noir Sea Slopes gets its name from overlooking the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1,200 to 1,700 feet. The wine spent nine months in 10% new French oak prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered. This wine offers loads of Chinese black tea, pomegranate, floral notes and a hint of raspberry in a medium-bodied, fresh, lively, Côte de Beaune style. Drink it over the next 5-7 years.  Early - Drink 2016-2023

December 2014

95 2010 Pinot Noir Reserve
An absolutely profound Pinot Noir is the 2010 Pinot Noir Reserve, with 48% new oak, aged in French barrels for ten months, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. This also has the same alcoholic potency, 14.5%, as its sibling. However, that’s about the only thing it shares in common. This is just spectacular Pinot Noir, with a DRC-like forest floor, black raspberry and blackberry nose, a deep ruby color and fabulous texture. Beet root and Asian spice give additional complexity to this generously endowed, fleshy, yet exceptionally complex and elegant Pinot Noir. This wine, along with the Chardonnay, gives me high hopes that they’ve got a special site on the Sonoma Coast and are on their way to much greater attention and acclaim.

94 2012 Chardonnay
The 2012 Chardonnay comes from an old Hyde Vineyard clone of Chardonnay (80%) and 20% from the old Wente. Aged ten months in French oak, of which 10% was new, and bottled unfined and unfiltered, this is just a killer Chardonnay. A rather thick-looking light gold color is followed by loads of spring flowers, wet rocks, honeysuckle, almond paste and caramelized citrus with a touch of brioche and white peach. It’s beautifully textured, full-bodied, incredibly elegant and intense. This is a superb Sonoma Coast Chardonnay to drink over the next decade or more.

92 2011 Pinot Noir Symposium
The 2011 Pinot Noir Symposium is a smaller cuvée made from 97% Pinot Noir blended with 3% Pinotage, which makes sense given the owners are from South Africa. This sees about 15% new French oak and was bottled unfined and unfiltered. This is spectacular Pinot Noir, with notes of forest floor, Asian soy and plum sauce, mulberry, black cherry and some gamey, smokey notes. The wine is ripe, medium to full-bodied and beautifully made. It should age nicely for 10-12 years or so.

December 2013

93 2010 Pinot Noir Symposium
The rich, meaty, dense, multi-dimensional 2010 Pinot Noir Symposium tastes like a grand cru from the Cote de Nuits. Notes of forest floor, black currants, black cherries and smoky tobacco leaf are followed by a wine with beautiful fruit and a silky texture. Consume it over the next 5-7 years. These are impressive offerings from Fort Ross.

91 2009 Pinot Noir Reserve
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.

90 2009 Pinot Noir
The deep ruby-colored 2009 Pinot Noir reveals an outstanding bouquet of loamy soil, underbrush, red and black cherries, and a hint of oak as well as a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel and a velvety texture. Drink this sexy Pinot over the next 5-6 years. These are impressive offerings from Fort Ross.