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Pine Ridge Fortis 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP94
  • WS92
14.5% ABV
  • RP98
  • WS92
  • RP97
  • WE94
  • WS93
  • WS91
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

An abundance of exquisite aromas of bright cherry, blackcurrant and ripe blackberry, balanced by roasted coffee, brown sugar and toasted coconut engage the nose of this opaque ruby wine. The palate explodes with luscious fruit notes of blueberry, cassis, and warm blackberry pie beneath robust tannins and touches of dark baking chocolate, graham cracker and star anise that echo throughout its unwavering finish. The tremendous balance, depth and complexity of this wine provide evidence of its age-worthiness, therefore, we recommend decanting for at least one hour before consuming this wine in its youth.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The flagship 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Fortis (with a different label and a heavier bottle) has an opaque ruby/purple color and gorgeously sweet, concentrated black currant fruit with sweet cherry, plum, Asian spice, and some subtle oak. It is full-bodied and very graceful, with superb equilibrium and intensity. This is a terrific, very young but very promising, prodigious Cabernet Sauvignon that should drink well for 20-25 years.

94+

WS 92
Wine Spectator
This Bordeaux-style blend is rich, full-bodied and well-endowed with dark berry, cedar, graphite and new leather flavors. Full-bodied and not shy about tannins, but they're ripe and the fruit flows with nice traction. Best from 2012 through 2022.
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Pine Ridge

Pine Ridge

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Pine Ridge, Napa Valley, California
2008 Fortis
In 1978 , a remarkable vineyard took shape alongside a deep pine forest that climbs the western hillside of Napa Valley’s storied Stags Leap District. Today, nestled in a small valley along the Silverado Trail, the carefully maintained and terraced slopes of Pine Ridge Vineyards blend gracefully with the natural rise and fall of the land. Year after year, the wines of Pine Ridge carry a sense of this place and its history. Continuity, balance and meticulous craftsmanship are inherent in the wines and deeply embedded in the winery's heritage. Each vintage reflects the distinct characteristics of the appellation and a focused commitment to refinement that reaches across the years, from the founding of the winery to today.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SWS257064_2008 Item# 126343

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