2011 Fort Ross "Fort Ross Vineyard" Fort Ross-Seaview Chardonnay
*Editors' Choice* Made from grapes grown in a coastal, cool-climate vineyard, this Chardonnay is gracefully minerally and acidic. It has all the tart, wet-stone tang you could want, along with intense quince, golden mango and Asian pear fruitiness. This lovely wine is worth every cent of its price.
Wonderfully juicy and bursting with sweet and slightly pulpy, apple-like fruit and enriched by an enticingly creamy bit of caramelly oak in its very deep and well-focused aromas, this fully filled-out Chardonnay is enlivened by plenty of pert acid and, while claiming only 12.8% alcohol, is surprisingly concentrated and very fleshy in feel. If sure to age gracefully, it is quite showy now and will match up nicely with well-seasoned salmon fillets in the immediate term.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Chardonnay exhibits plenty of crisp citrus, fresh acids, an elegant, medium-bodied, mineral-laced mouthfeel, and caramelized fruit, apple blossom and white peach notes. Enjoy it over the next 3-4 years. These are impressive offerings from Fort Ross, a winery with which I have had little experience.
The Fort Ross-Seaview appellation is relatively new, having won approval in January, 2012. But winegrowers Lester and Linda Schwartz have been battling the elements here on the "true" Sonoma Coast for two decades, and they've got distinctive wines to show for their efforts. Winemaker is Jeff Pisoni.