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 - Jeb Dunnuck
Aged 10 months in 45% new French oak and all from the estate Fort Ross Vineyard, the 2017 Pinot Noir Top Of Land gives up an elegant, layered, medium-bodied style that offers more dark berry fruits, mulberries, toasted spice, and dried earth nuances. It's complex and has a seamless texture, polished tannins, and a good finish. This is another charming, balanced, classic wine from this address.
This nearly opaque garnet hued wine shows great complexity, integrating both the pure fruit and earthy qualities found in fine Pinot Noirs. The grapes for this cuvée are sourced from several of the lowest yielding blocks located at the highest elevations of the Fort Ross Vineyard. Layered aromatics of black tea, bing cherry, and bramble berries are accented by the slighted hint of lavender. The palate opens up with red berries and black plums followed by warm spice and firm, dusty tannins. The Fort Ross Vineyard signature minerality is revealed through the seamless, silky finish.
The grapes for this Pinot Noir come from the blocks that are planted at the highest elevations in the vineyard. They are 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 45% new and 55% neutral French oak. Throughout the 10 months of barrel aging, the clones and different vineyard blocks were kept separate to maintain their distinct flavor profiles and structural components as blending elements.
246 cases produced