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.
Shades of sparkling lemon the 2021 Bicentennial Chardonnay offers intriguing notes of apple, pear tart, and subtle quince which are intensified amongst a restrained backdrop of stony minerality and toasted brioche. Comprised solely of the Hyde clone, this prime example of true West Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is layered and complex on the palate, with ripe stone fruit, lemon meringue, and candied ginger. Hints of spiced vanilla and almond skin give way to a subtle flinty reduction that suggests great potential for aging.Vibrant, coastal born acidity and noticeable phenolic ripeness make this unfined and unfiltered wine something that should not be missed.
Our high elevation vineyard [1,200 ft – 1,700 ft] just 1 mile above the Pacific Ocean, benefits greatly from the cooling influences of this rugged coastline.All of Sonoma County experienced lower than average rainfall signaling the start of another drier vintage.These parched soils came with a silver lining, as the roots were forced to dig deep in search of water and nutrients to sustain growth—which also brought great concentration of flavor. Early March budbreak was followed by slow, steady canopy development and fruit set. Many passes through our rows by our dedicated vineyard team balanced the fruit and vine growth, but less canopy work was required due to the low vigor of the vines. Moderate temperatures, between 80-85°, persisted throughout the summer with no heatwaves. Harvest arrived under near perfect conditions, allowing for night hand picking at the ideal phenolic ripeness.The 3-week harvest began with Pinot Noir from August 30th - September 6th, Chardonnay from September 9th – 11th, and our first harvest of Chenin Blanc on September 13th, lastly our, slower ripening Pinotage on September 17th.The wines produced from this noteworthy vintage will be regarded for their intense concentration of color and flavor, as well as an undeniable density that will continue to evolve for years to come.
The grapes were handpicked during the cool hours of the night in small two-gallon picking trays then hand sorted in the vineyard and gently whole cluster pressed at the winery.After pressing, the juice was put into barrels and underwent primary and malolactic fermentation in 80% neutral and 20% new French oak.This discrete use of new oak allows the fruit to shine.This wine is comprised of small berried old Hyde field selection chosen for its richness and sleek structure. This heritage field selection has full, complex flavors that are intensified by the small size of both the bunches and the berries.
100% Hyde Field Selection, Unfined & Unfiltered