Inspired by our commitment to quality and innovation, a vision emerged in 2003 to produce a wine that would embody the absolute best our estate vineyards have to offer. by carefully constructing a tête de cuvée from those vineyard blocks that emerge as standouts from the vintage, regardless of appellation, we’ve created an ultra-reserve Cabernet, dictated only by the philosophy of “simply the best.”
Only the finest blocks of the most outstanding fruit are selected from our 200 acres of estate vineyards across the Napa Valley for this special bottling. Every vintage, the appellation composition of this wine will vary depending upon the performance and character of each vineyard. For 2009, the blend is composed solely of Rutherford and Stags Leap District fruit, at 52% and 48%, respectively.
Harvest and Winemaking
With steadily mild temperatures throughout the growing season, the 2009 vintage progressed very smoothly and the clusters ripened evenly. The fruit was harvested late September through late October and underwent our intensive sorting process prior to crush. After fermentation was completed, this vintage was place into 60% new French oak barrels for aging. At the present time, this wine has already aged 17 of the total 18 months it will spend in barrel prior to bottling in May 2011.
The 2009 Fortis presents an intense nose of cassis jam, black mission fig and blackberry fruit, supported by balancing aromas of rich caramel, dried rose petal and French vanilla. The black garnet color hints at the extraction of this gorgeously complex wine, confirmed by the intensity of flavors of sweet juicy blueberry and stewed black fruits beneath a harmony of chocolate ganache, dark espresso bean, brown butter and toast. Creamy tannins follow through the smooth and lasting finish of this rich and full-bodied wine.
An uncomplicated but substantial preparation would best support a smooth and intricate bottling like our 2009 Fortis at the table. Pour a glass alongside a Wagyu Kobe Filet Mignon from our friends at Kansas City Steaks and salt-baked new potatoes, or try it with a hard, aged cheese such as Mimolette to optimally enjoy the balance of this incredible wine.