Wine Review: 2010 Fort Ross Vineyard Symposium

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Remember the Picture Cows? Remember the amazing views? Remember how I took the day off to have an adventure with Tala where we ate oysters and drank wine? I sure do. Here’s a reminder, just in case you forgot.

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This guy lives at the bottom of the road that leads to the breathtaking Fort Ross Vineyard tasting room, outside of Jenner. Perched high on a ridge within a stone’s throw of the Pacific Ocean, Fort Ross Vineyard’s tasting room has only been open for about a year, and it’s the only tasting room in the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. It’s small, quiet, and well-appointed, with a great back deck that overlooks the ocean and the forest that this here Picture Cow lives in.

All their wine is from estate grown fruit, and you know by know that both Tala and I love Sonoma Coast wines, especially Pinot Noirs. When we visited, we took home a bottle of the 2010 Symposium, a Pinot Noir with 4% of Pinotage blended in. This wine had the classic new world Pinot nose – cola, some cherry, some earth, a touch of oak, and smells like velvet, if that’s even possible. Smelling this wine makes your mouth water – it makes you eager to drink it.

Upon drinking, I liked it more than Tala did for sure. I thought it was bright and delicious, with more of that earthy/mushroomy characteristic, and a medium/heavy body. I’m guessing some of that weight comes from the Pinotage. It also has some spiciness to it, which was unexpected. It’s a beautiful ruby color, but this photo doesn’t capture that it’s also kind of brick-colored – reminiscent of the color of an older wine. The finish is a tad bitter, which I actually quite enjoy in wine. Overall, I liked it quite well, but if I bought another bottle, I’d keep it in storage for a couple of years. I think that the oak, tannin, and spice will integrate more in 2-3 years, and this wine will come  out all the better for it.

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If you’d like to pay a visit to Fort Ross Vineyard, their tasting room is open 7 days a week from 10am-5pm. It’s about a 2 hour drive from San Francisco, and as you read with us earlier, it’s a great opportunity to make a full day of adventure.