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Fort Ross Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • WE93
  • CG91
  • JS91
  • WS90
14.5% ABV
  • WW91
  • WE90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

With an enticing garnet hue, this terroir-driven Pinot Noir offers delicate, yet complex aromas of rose petals and raspberries that weave together with forest floor, cola and Asian spice. The elegant aromatics lead to a complex palate defined by black raspberry, Bing cherry and bramble berries, with hints of subtle citrus and a dash of winter spices. The fine, supple tannin structure reflects the cooler vintage and perfectly frames the red berry fruit and earth that is revealed throughout the layered, velvety finish.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Released a year after their spectacular Sea Slopes bottling, this small production Pinot shows the elegance of the far Sonoma Coast, and also the ageworthiness of a fine wine. Dry and crisp, it has deep flavors of cherries, pomegranates and persimmons that are fresh and tart.
CG 91
Connoisseurs' Guide
Even if starting to show a slight note of aged complexity and a touch of early suppleness on the palate, this solid, well-structured wine is a few years away from finding its full voice. Its deep and very continuous themes of extracted cherries are accented by intriguing highlights of green tea and forest-floor spice, and, while still a bit grippy and tannic, it has more than enough fruity flesh on its ample bones.
JS 91
James Suckling
A red with rich aromas of strawberries and cranberries showing some fresh mushrooms. Palate has some preserves and a long, big finish. This is a full-bodied wine showing nicely balanced acidity.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Offers a firm, rustic backbone, dense and tight, with blackberry, raspberry, anise and spicy notes. This is young and chewy, ending with a persistent finish and vibrancy that suggests a long life ahead. Drink now through 2021.
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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 from the San Pablo Bay to the Mendocino County border. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the “true” Sonoma Coast, marked by high rainfall, marine soils, cool temperatures, and saline ocean breezes, from which one can actually see the ocean—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, creating a diversity of wine styles. Contained within the appellation is the much smaller and more focused Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.

Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah, with high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and fruit that is rarely overripe. One of the most favorable sites within the region is the Petaluma Gap, where a break in the coastal mountain range allows Pacific winds and fog to funnel through and cool the vineyards.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

MSW30121068_2010 Item# 136534