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.
91+ Points - Wine Advocate, Robert Parker
Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2014 Pinot Noir Reserve offers notes of mossy tree bark, tar, and charcoal over cranberries and raspberry leaves with a waft of roses. Elegant, light to medium-bodied, very fine and with nice ripe tannins, it finishes long with an herbal lift. Drink 2017 - 2022.
91 Points - Wine Enthusiast
This opens in a thick concentration of dark cherry, plum, and undeniable cola spice, the midpalate built around firm integrated tannins and oak. Complementary aspects of forest, black tea, and coastal sea spray add to the complexity and overall appeal.
Ruby in hue, this elegant, medium-bodied Pinot Noir entices with aromas of raspberry and orange pekoe tea, framed by touches of earthy mushroom, cola and a wisp of roses. The alluring aromatics lead to an integrated palate defined by layers of bing cherry, bramble berries with a dash of bright cranberry, and citrus. Fine, evolved, tannins and the Fort Ross Vineyard signature minerality are revealed through the smooth, mature, lingering finish. This Reserve Pinot Noir, comprised of our best 5 barrels of the vintage, will age gracefully for 7-10 years and beyond.
2014 was the third year of bountiful harvests that again produced 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.
119 Cases Bottled
WINEMAKER: Jeff Pisoni • CLONAL SELECTIONS: Calera & Swan