93 Points - Wine Advocate
Pale to medium ruby, the 2016 Pinot Noir Fort Ross Vineyard has a wonderful bitters-scented nose of potpourri, tangerine peel and tree bark over a core of crunchy cranberry, red cherry and red berries. Light to medium-bodied with a silky texture, it has concentrated red fruits with tons of amaro accents, fine, grainy tannins and a long, energetic finish. 309 cases produced.
92 Points - James Suckling
Raspberries, red cherries, fresh rose petals and dried herbs. Medium to full body, firm and steely tannins and a medium-long, medium chewy finish. Drink in 2020.
91+ Points - Jeb Dennuck, June 2019
Similarly colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir FRV offers cooler notes of black cherries, currants, and salty marine like notes as well as a medium-bodied, nicely balanced, concentrated style on the palate. This is another terrific Pinot Noir from winemaker Jeff Pisoni that has both richness and elegance. It will be better with another year in the bottle and have a decade of overall longevity. The 2016 spent 10 months in 40% new French oak and will be released later in 2019.
Bright aromas of black raspberry and bing cherry meld with savory cured meats, spiced amber and a delicate floral touch of violets. Exuberant black cherry, raspberry and red fruits greet the palate followed by warm spice and earth. Refined, supple tannins and the Fort Ross Vineyard signature minerality are revealed through the layered, mouthwatering finish. With its lively acidity and extraordinary balance this classic coastal Pinot Noir will elegantly evolve.
2016 was another year of drought throughout California. Fortunately, Fort Ross Vineyard was not affected as the early December rainfall was sufficient to fill our irrigation ponds to capacity and even allowed us to have water at the end harvest. The ideal moderate weather on the coast leading up to harvest was free of heatwaves and rain, allowing the grapes to mature slowly and evenly to reach their optimal development. The Pinot Noir was unhurriedly harvested between September 3 — 20, one of the many advantages of growing grapes overlooking the cool Pacific Ocean. Chardonnay was picked September 17 — 26 and finally the slower ripening Pinotage on September 23 — 28. Our new block of Chardonnay, just off Meyers Grade Road had its first harvest in 2016 and the fruit is showing great promise. The lasting memory of the harvest is a vision of perfect bunches of grapes, with no side wings to delay the ripening, even berry size and a balanced crop hanging on the vines. These wines are vibrant and aromatic with excellent acidity.