Your Tuesday wine: Fulcrum's Sonoma Coast On Point Pinot Noir

OnPoint_13Sonoma-Clr-web[1]WINE PRODUCER David Rossi started out as a New Jersey amateur winemaker who took his passion to a level most hobbyists, let alone professional winemakers, only dream of reaching.

Rossi has made his Fulcrum and On Point Pinot Noirs for almost a decade. He has contracts for grapes from some of California’s most iconic Pinot Noir vineyards and produces the wines at a custom crush facility in Napa.

The celebrated Fulcrum wines get their name from what a fulcrum is: the point on which a lever is balanced so it can pivot — “balance” being the key word, which is what he strives for in his wines. Rossi makes a more restrained style of Pinot Noir that emphasizes balance of fruit, acidity, tannins and oak with less highly extracted fruit, less alcohol.

Rossi’s Fulcrum wines have deep color with pronounced tannins and complex structures. The On Point wines emphasize vibrant flavors, silky tannins and an immediately alluring personality, as he describes it. He stresses these are “stylistic distinctions — not quality ones.” He makes On Point from many of the same vineyards as the Fulcrum. He has a small-enough winery to assess the character of the wine in each barrel and assign it to the Fulcrum or On Point program.

Rossi says: “I make Pinot Noir because it fascinates me, and because I love to drink it.”

On Point Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2013, $36:  This beauty is a deep garnet color with texture like a red Burgundy from France. It has intense aromas of cherry, blackberry, plum, dark chocolate and vanilla. It’s elegant at the same time it shows its power. The bold earthy flavors are infused with oak and supported by sturdy acidity and alcohol. It’s made from a blend of grapes off two of Sonoma Coast’s most coveted sites: Sangiacomo and Gap’s Crown. The wine was aged 15 months in French oak, 18 percent new. Producer David Rossi made 282 barrels of this wine. Get on the Fulcrum mailing list for easier access to wines like this, special offers and library offerings.

You can reach Sandra Silfven at