2016 Pinotage Accolades
91 Points - Wine Enthusiast
A rare find anywhere in California, let alone the coast, this cross-breed of Cinsault and Pinot Noir shows earthy notes of tree bark and cedar. The elegant frame of soft, integrated tannin allows room for layers of black tea, berry pie and cardamom to take hold and find a seamless core of flavor. - Virginie Boone. August 2021.
90 Points - Wine Advocate
The 2016 Pinotage Fort Ross Vineyard is medium ruby-purple in color with a broody nose of tar, earth and bay leaves with baked black berries and cherries and meaty hints. Medium to full-bodied, it's dark-fruited in the mouth with savory and earthy accents, framed by firm, chewy tannins and lifted by good freshness, finishing long and earthy.
17 Off-The-Beaten-Path California Reds - Food & Wine Magazine
Lester and Linda Schwartz planted a vineyard in the early 1990s on a ridge about a mile from the ocean in Fort Ross, north of Jenner, California—the extreme Sonoma Coast. Eventually, they helped define and create the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. Known for their vivid, electric, ocean-spray-kissed Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, they also planted some Pinotage—a grape typical to South Africa—as an homage to their days at the University of Cape Town. There are just over 50 acres of Pinotage planted in the entire state, and this particular one is made in minuscule quantities…less than 10 barrels. It's sumptuously earthy, boasting silky dark cherries, blackberries, and firm, grippy tannins, with lavish baking spices rounding it all out.
★★★★ Restaurant Wine, Ronn Wiegand MS/MW
This 2016 is an aromatic, intensely flavored wine with exotic raspberry, plum jam, black tea, red licorice, guava, and spicy oak flavors, good balance, and a long finish. Drinks well now, but can age further.