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Fort Ross Vineyard Sea Slopes Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    14.5% ABV
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    14.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Sea Slopes Pinot Noir is blended for earlier release and is ready to enjoy sooner than other Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noirs. The dark ruby hue alludes to the black stone fruit characteristics that follow. Forward vivid plum and vibrant wild berry aromas are elegantly balanced by hints of rose, black tea and cedar. Generout blackberry and tangy plum gracefully evolve on the palate finishine with supple tannins and the signature minerality of the Fort Ross Vineyard's coastal terroir.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Fort Ross Vineyard

    Fort Ross Vineyard

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    Fort Ross Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, 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 Coast

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    A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

    Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

    The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

    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.

    DRSSLOPES_2010 Item# 122759