2020 Fort Ross, Fort Ross Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Owners and South African natives Lester and Linda Schwartz purchased a parcel of land for their 53 acre vineyard on the cool, foggy Sonoma coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. They tried several rootstocks before planting their heritage clones of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They planted their first vineyard blocks in 1994 known today as the Fort-Ross Seaview AVA. Jeff Pisoni has been their winemaker since 2009.
Less than one mile from the Pacific Ocean, Fort Ross vineyards are separated into 30 smaller, mountain vineyard blocks. The vineyard consists of sandy, gravelly loam underlayed with sandstone, shale and rocks. The 2020 Fort Ross Chardonnay is planted to Hyde and Wente clone rootstocks and is aged for 11 months in French Oak, of which 30% is new. Pale yellow with a honeyed nose of baked apples, caramelized fruits and fresh baked bread. It is as if you were in a French Patisserie. The mid-palate reveals creamy almond paste and yellow citrus oils delicately wrapped around apricot marmalade. The finish continues to a lively and vibrant finish.
By W Peter Hoyne