Fort Ross Vineyard was selected to produce a special Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to commemorate the 1812 – 2012 Bicentennial of the old Russian Settlement of Fort Ross on the Sonoma Coast. This was the site of the first grape plantings in all of Sonoma County and even foreshadowed the plantings in Napa County. The winery was given permission from the Kunstkamera of the St. Peter the Great Museum in St. Petersburg to use the painting of the old fort done in 1841 by the famous naturalist, Il'ya Vosnesenky.
92 Points - Wine & Spirits
Sanguine and salty, this has a delicate, fine abrasion to its fruit tannins, hovering between the skins of golden cherry tomatoes and black cherries. Firm and juicy in the middle, this ends on notes of dried earth and crushed rock. - Joshua Greene, Spring 2023.
Moderate ruby in color, the 2019 Bicentennial Pinot Noir begins with an alluring blend of mixed berries, dried orange peel and English Breakfast tea touched with Asian spice aromatics. Fine-grained and medium bodied, the luscious dark plum, raspberry and dried cherry flavors are framed by elegant tannins and is completed with a slightly savory, lengthy velvet finish.
2019 was a very curious year. Early in the season the vineyard received a light sprinkling of snow, followed by some frost - which is most surprising at the altitude of the vineyard [1,200 ft – 1,700 ft]; and our location, less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean. For the last 20 years of viticulture, we have had no need for frost protection. We waited to see what kind of crop would develop and are pleased to announce that buds popped out and we even needed to drop a significant amount of fruit. Later in the season we had a brief heat wave reaching over 100 degrees! As we pick at night, we still have cool grapes to start winemaking.Then just as harvest was ending, we experienced howling 60 mile an hour winds that even blew open locked doors.The 2019 modest crop has produced wines with a luscious mouthfeel, an elegant, restrained acid profile and a satisfying balance. Pinot Noir was unhurriedly harvested between September 16 – October 7, Chardonnay was picked September 19 – October 7, and finally the slower ripening Pinotage on October 8th.
Bottled Unfined & Unfiltered
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 20% new and 80% neutral French oak.Throughout the 11 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
CLONAL SELECTION: Dijon 115
220 cases produced