Yesterday was time to try a new acquisition, the 2004 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage. I obtained some of this wine from Jill of Domaine547, who has been able to get me several hard to find California wines.
Last fall, I tasted their 2003 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage and absolutely loved it. So how would the 2004 vintage fare?
The Fort Ross website states that only 166 cases were produced of the 2004 Pinotage though the label states there were 175 cases. Either way, it is a small production wine. I should note that this is about half the production of the 2003 vintage. This seems based on the weather conditions during 2004, where the vines produced less grapes per acre. The 2004 Pinotage also saw 17 months in French oak, 20% new, while the 2003 vintage saw 15 months.
The 2004 Pinotage is similar in many ways in color, smell and taste to the 2003 vintage. The primary difference, though I don't think the difference is too pronounced, is that the 2004 seems to have more concentrated fruit and a bit less spice. It is still a hedonistic joy, a rich and complex wine that certainly pleased me very much. I may try the 2003 and 2004 Pinotages side by side sometime to get a better feel for their differences but I know I thoroughly enjoyed both. Overall, I highly recommend the 2004 Pinotage.
And in the near future, I will be tasting some of the Fort Ross Pinot Noir!