2011 Symposium Pinot Noir
From our mountain vineyard that overlooks the Sonoma Coast and now part of the new Fort Ross-Seaview American Viticultural Area, Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery produces limited quantities of single vineyard, Estate grown, cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinotage. With spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean less than one mile away, the vineyard is divided into 30 separate 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.
97% Pinot Noir, 3% Pinotage
92 Points - Wine Advocate, Robert Parker
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.
90 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Estate grown and produced, with the added expertise of winemaker Jeff Pisoni, this is an oaky, stemmy and earthy coastal wine, silky and seamless in red cherry, pomegranate, nutmeg and brambly black tea. Exotic, slightly savory and well-restrained, it includes 3% Pinotage, another specialty of the producer. —V.B.