90 Points - Jeb Dennuck, June 2018
The 2013 Pinot Noir FRV Fort Ross Vineyard sports a ruby color as well as an open knit, ready-to-go bouquet of dried cherries, tobacco, menthol, and dried herbs. It's pretty, medium-bodied, rounded, and supple, with an evolved style ideal for drinking over the coming 4-5 years.
Exceptional - Dan Berger, June 2018
Now already five years old, this complex version of a cool-climate PN is at an early peak of drinkability, but its gorgeous structure (13.8% alcohol) will help it to improve for at least another 5-8. Raspberry compote, blackberry, rose petals, tea, and even a hint of dried tangerine mark the dramatic aroma, and the structure is handsome since acid holds it all together without any tartness.
★★★★½ - Excellent Plus - Restaurant Wine, Ronn Wiegand MS
A subtle and complex Pinot Noir. Tasting much like a fine Burgundy. It is full bodied: smoothly textured, well balanced, and moderately rich, with a very long finish, tasting of blueberry jam, red currant, cedar, cherry, vanilla, and spicy oak. Drinks well now.
Aromas of cherry compote, red currant, and a hint of tobacco seed. Medium-full with excellent concentration. Ample oak, good acidity, medium-weight tannins. Earthy Pinot Noir with a delicate herbal note in the finish (cumin, sage). Beautiful complexity. Approachable now, best in 3-5 years. Excellent
This 2013 Pinot Noir welcomes with an alluring antique garnet hue that leads to the evolution of aromas that evoke delicate black tea, dried rose petals and orange peel harmoniously interwoven with elements of forest floor. The beautifully integrated palate is defined by red fruits, raspberry and dark cherry keenly balanced by the complexity of baking spices and savory notes followed by the Fort Ross Vineyard signature minerality and acidity. The soft, gentle, refined tannins continue to delight through the lingering, velvety finish. While we have patiently cellared this elegant Pinot Noir prior to release, it will evolve with grace for years to come.
After heavy winter rains, the spring was warm and dry, followed by a dry summer. The vines began growing quickly and fruitfully. To keep the crop load modest, we went through the vineyard three times to thin the crop and position the canes and the bunches. After an unexpected rainfall in mid-September, the vineyard had time to dry out before the harvest began. The Pinot Noir blocks were harvested between September 12 – 26, the Chardonnay blocks between September 20 – 22 and the Pinotage on October 1.
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 barreled in a combination of 30% new and 70% neutral French oak. Throughout the 10 months of barrel aging, the clones and different vineyard lots were kept separate to maintain their distinct flavor profiles and structural components as blending elements.
Winemaker: Jeff Pisoni