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Fort Ross Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2008

Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • WE92
  • RP90
  • WE94
  • RP93
  • WW92
  • WW91
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

Nearly opaque, this concentrated Pinot Noir entices with complex aromas of black currants and boysenberries with hints of sassafras, cola and dusty cedar notes. Rich, elegant layers of dark plum, ripe black fruit, delicate tea and softly spiced vanilla flavors are balanced by the finely structured, supple tannins and the Fort Ross Vineyard signature minerality that evolves through the lingering finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

Elaborately ripe, this polished Pinot explodes with fresh flavors of raspberries and cherries that taste pie-baked, with the smoky, sweet, toasty crust. It’s just delicious, and also obviously fruity-sweet, with a jammy attractiveness. What it lacks in subtlety it more than makes up for in richness.

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Fort Ross

Fort Ross

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Fort Ross, , California
Fort Ross
Nestled on a sunny coastal ridge, overlooking the Pacific Ocean a mile below, Fort Ross'"True Sonoma Coast" vineyard is one of the closest, if not the closest, to the ocean in all of California. From the vineyard you can see the breaking surf and the misty silhouettes of Bodega Head and Pt. Reyes far below. The vineyard's high elevation above the coastal fog and its proximity to the ocean provide a gentle, sunny and temperate climate that has proved to be very favorable for the slow and even ripening of Burgundian varietals.

Maule Valley

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Carmenere

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Dark, full-bodied, and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère has found great success in Chile, far from its birthplace of Bordeaux. Although Carménère once accompanied Malbec and Petit Verdot as a minor blending grape in Bordeaux, it is now virtually extinct there, though it has been thriving since the mid-nineteenth century in Chile. Originally mistaken for Merlot, it is now successful of its own accord and plantings continue to increase. It is bottled both on its own and as part of Bordeaux-inspired blends.

In the Glass

If not fully ripe, Carménère is often marked by a green, herbaceous character (think green bell pepper and green peppercorn), and expresses flavors of red berry and black pepper when just ripe. With additional hangtime at the end of harvest, it is reminiscent more of blackberry, blueberry, and dark plum, with rich and savory notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke, and soy sauce.

Perfect Pairings

Carménère can easily overpower lighter fare, but makes a great match for a hearty steak or barbecued red meat. It can also work well with white meat when prepared with a richer sauce such as mole.

Sommelier Secret

Perhaps Carménère’s herbal character can be explained in part by familial relations—due to the strange nature of grapevine breeding, Carménère is both a progeny and a great-grandchild of the similarly flavored Cabernet Franc.

DRSFROSSPN_2008 Item# 122760

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