92 Points - Wine Advocate
Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir FRV gives a pleasant herbal perfume of bouquet garni and wild thyme with a core of red cherries, raspberries, and red plums plus a waft of red roses. The palate is medium bodied and very delicately played in the mouth with silt-like tannins and seamless freshness, finishing remarkably gentle and moreish. 186 cases produced.
92 Points - Wine Enthusiast
From the producer's estate vineyard in the wilds of the appellation, this wine opens in ash, stone and forest, presenting tight, structured intensity. Earthy and savory, it shines in tart, tangy layers of cranberry, rhubarb and black cherry dappled in Asian spice and pepper. — Virginie Boone
91 Points - Jeb Dennuck
I think a step up over the 2014, the 2015 Pinot Noir FRV offers complex red and black fruits, dried herbs, flowers, and a touch of salty minerality. With medium-bodied richness, outstanding overall balance, fine tannins, and a great finish, it’s another classic Pinot Noir from this estate that’s well worth seeking out. The 2015 spent ten months in 50% new French oak and should continue drinking nicely for another 5-7 years.
The dense garnet hue is 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 and spice. 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 seductive Pinot Noir will elegantly evolve.
Compared to the bountiful harvests of 2012, 2013, 2014 and again in 2016, the 2015 Vintage produced quite modest yields. Early budbreak was followed by relatively warm temperatures until May, when the temperature suddenly dropped to record breaking levels, which slowed bloom to set, producing variation in berry maturity and yield. The Pinot Noir was unhurriedly harvested between August 17 — September 8, one of the many advantages of growing grapes overlooking the cool Pacific Ocean. Chardonnay was picked September 10 — September 12 and finally the slower ripening Pinotage on September 24th. The lower yields delivered exceptional wines that are layered, focused and showing gracious purity. Ideal acidity levels are prevalent in all the wines, with well-developed tannins and structure for drinking now or for aging
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 50% new and 50% 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.
CASES: 186 • WINEMAKER: Jeff Pisoni • BOTTLED: Unfined & Unfiltered • CLONAL SELECTIONS: Calera & Pommard