Sea Slopes is a second label for Fort Ross Winery, which can be found in the far western coastal reaches of Sonoma County. The pinots and chardonnays under this label are more widely available — and more affordable. We recently tried two from the newly released 2019 vintage. Let’s dig in.
2019 Fort Ross Winery Sea Slopes Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – Even-handed with the oak, this accessible wine lets the fruit do plenty of the talking, its notes of pear matched by a burst of melon and a squeezed lemon wedge. Gentle, vanilla-soaked oak quickly comes into focus as the wine develops in glass, with a finish that sees a reprising pop of citrus, dusted with coconut notes and a gentle layer of florals. It’s a balanced but expressive wine, an excellent buy at this price. A- / $25
2019 Fort Ross Winery Sea Slopes Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – This expression of pinot noir is lighter in style but lively with fruit, its notes of tart cherry pairing well with licorice, tea leaf, and a light rosemary note. The finish sweetens up just a touch with a raspberry character and a lick of milk chocolate. Seductive and rich yet light on its feet, it’s a classic expression of pinot noir with a bright disposition to share. A- / $35