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Fort Ross Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
  • JS94
  • WE93
  • RP91
  • WS90
14.3% ABV
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14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is the highlight of the 2009 vintage and only 303 cases were produced. Reserve Pinot Noir is produced from the very best twelve barrels of the vintage. It typifies the elegance of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, expressing purity of fruit complemented by smooth, silky texture.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
This is a gorgeous wine with complex aromas and flavors of strawberry and spices with hints of briny beef. Voluptuous mouthfeel. Very balanced tannins. All here.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Classic Fort Ross Pinot Noir, this is rich and textural. The flavors of raspberry parfait and cherry pie are spicy, honeyed and brightened by acidity.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Pinot Noir Reserve possesses a deeper color and ratchets up the level of concentration. Copious aromas of forest floor, spring flowers, sweet strawberries and cherries, roasted herbs and spice are found in this beautiful, expressive Pinot.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Offers lots of smoky, toasty oak, with fruit to match, cloaking rich dark berry flavors that are intense, deep and persistent. Shows impressive purity, backbone and density. Needs time. Best from 2014 through 2023.
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Fort Ross Vineyard

Fort Ross Vineyard

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Fort Ross Vineyard, Sonoma County, California
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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.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

MBWPNR09_2009 Item# 122752