The wine presents aromas of dark plums, leather with hints of cedar and spice. Bold dark fruit flavors on the palate are enhanced by smoke and sassafras that carry through to the intense finish.
Wine Spectator 88 points - Gripping, earth-laced tannins hold on tight, with plenty of chewy dark berry flavors to sustain attention. Cellar or decant and drink now. Drink now through 2022. 217 cases made. –JL
(Dec 31 2013)
Wine Advocate 87 points - I am generally not a fan of Pinotage, particularly those from South Africa, but Fort Ross’s 2009 Pinotage surprised me with its luscious, herbaceously-tinged red fruit, soft, velvety texture and appealing style. It should drink nicely for 1-2 years. (Dec 2013)
Located along the Sonoma Coast in the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA, Fort Ross Vineyard and Winery produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinotage from hand-picked, estate fruit. Owners Lester and Linda Schwartz met at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in the 1960s and moved to California’s Sonoma Coast in 1976. They bought 970 acres, 50 of which are planted to grapes on predominately well drained, gravelly loam. Their attention to detail is legendary – they did exhaustive tests before planting carefully selected clones and rootstocks and have taken over 10 years to complete planting. Jeff Pisoni of Pisoni Vineyards and Winery and Lucia Vineyards is the current winemaker.
|Fruit from proprietary Pinotage clones MM1 and MM3, developed from budwood imported by Fort Ross from South Africa, was cold soaked for several days, fermented with native yeast in a five ton tank with pumping over and gentle punch downs to soften the tannins. The wine aged for 10 months in French oak (20% new) and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.