From our mountain vineyard that overlooks the Sonoma Coast in the 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 32 separate blocks, one-half to two acres in size, that range in elevation from 1700 down to 1200 feet above sea level. Owners, Lester and Linda Schwartz with their small crew began preparing the 52-acre vineyard in 1994. It took them 4 years of preparation before they could begin planting. The year 2000 marked the first vintage from the Fort Ross Vineyard.
93 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Tangy red cherry, rose petal, and spicy cola combine on the palate around softened, silky tannins. Though smooth in feel, the palate still offers plenty of defined structure and elegant acidity.
92 Points - James Suckling
Lots of dried berry, meat and walnut aromas follow through to a full body, with layers of fruit and a juicy finish. Hints of chocolate and vanilla underneath it. Drink or hold.
90+ Points - Wine Advocate
Pale to med ruby in color, the 2014 Pinot Noir Fort Ross Vineyard seems just a little reduced/tarry to begin, soon giving way to fragrant raspberries, wild strawberries and underbrush notes with touches of game and lavender. Light-bodied with a silky, sophisticated palate, it delivers lovely energy and lingering earthy flavors. Drink 2017 - 2021
★★★★ EXCELLENT - Restaurant Wine, Ronn Wiegand MW/MS
The 2014 FRV Pinot Noir is a rich, balanced wine in a medium-full style. It is full-bodied, intensely flavored, and slightly tannic; a wine with cherry, red currant, plum, rose petal, black tea, spicy oak, and vanilla aromas/flavors. Beginning to evolve, but can develop further. Very fine quality. Several day cold soak. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Unfined, unfiltered. Clones: Calera, Pommard, Swan.
The dense garnet hue is a prelude to the depth and complexity of this generous, full-bodied Pinot Noir. Enticing aromas of black raspberry and boysenberry harmoniously mingle with facets of violet, lavender and savory hints of sage. Exuberant black cherry, raspberry and bramble berries greet the palate followed by subtle notes of wild strawberry, spice, and cola. Refined, supple tannins and the Fort Ross Vineyard signature minerality are revealed through the layered, velvety finish. With its lively acidity and extraordinary balance, this fine Pinot Noir will elegantly evolve.
2014 was the third year of bountiful harvests that again produced a stellar wine of vibrancy and concentration. Protected from the drought by the late winter rains that quickly filled our pond, we could enjoy one of the few luxuries of being off the grid. As we train our grapes to grow on cordons, with evenly positioned buds that produce evenly placed shoots, we drop clusters that are not perfectly positioned. We worked through the vineyard three times to ensure that the bunches had optimal air circulation and sun exposure. The depth of flavor in the wines from this vintage reflect our meticulous handwork. August 17 marked the beginning of the harvest with picking a select block of Pinot Noir Dijon 777 for our Sparkling Wine. The remaining Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinotage ripened quickly and evenly and was harvested through September.
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 then barreled in a combination of 40% new and 60% 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