Fort RossVineyard 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.
Burgundy ruby in color, the 2021 Bicentennial Pinot Noir begins with an alluring blend of wild mixed berries, currants and English Breakfast tea aromatics. This medium bodied selection offers luscious layers of dark plum, raspberry and black cherry, complimented by round, supple tannins and completed with a lively, bright finish.
Our high elevation vineyard [1,200 ft – 1,700 ft] overlooking the Pacific Ocean, just a mile below, benefits greatly from the cooling influences of this rugged coastline. Like the rest of Sonoma County, we experienced lower than average rainfall totals signaling the start of another drier than average vintage.These parched soils came with a silver lining, as the roots of our vines were forced to dig deep into the earth in search of water and nutrients to sustain growth—which also brought great concentration of flavor.The early March Budbreak was followed by slow, steady canopy development and fruit set. Many passes through our rows by our dedicated vineyard team was needed to balance 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 on under the protection of near perfect conditions, allowing for methodical night hand picking at the ideal phenological ripeness.The 3-week harvest began with our Pinot Noir blocks from August 30th - September 6th, Chardonnay form September 9th – 11th, and our first harvest of Chenin Blanc on September 13th, lastly our signature, 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.
Unfined & Unfiltered; Dijon 115 Clone
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 14 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.