2003 Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
The Martin Ray Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet is the union of two distinguished vineyards: Cooper-Garrod Vineyards and Fellom Ranch. The Cooper-Garrod Vineyard soil composition is made up of adobe clay mixed with gravel and offers berries with rich, concentrated fruit flavors. On the Fellom Ranch, located on Monte Bello Ridge, the shallow, stony soils control vine growth, resulting in smallish berries with intense flavors and structure. These mountaintop vineyards are privileged with morning and evening fog, due to maritime influences from the San Francisco Bay. These idyllic conditions lengthen the growing season, allowing grapes to reach maturity with deep color and concentrated flavors.
The 2003 vintage endured unpredictable weather, resulting in a challenging wine growing season. With warm days and unseasonable rain, the spring and early summer months were difficult for the vines. With lower yields and the fruit being able to hang longer on the vine, our winemaker is enthusiastic about the fruit intensity and the depth of the flavors in the wine.
After being hand-harvested, the grapes follow the meticulous winemaking techniques perfected by Martin Ray over sixty years ago. The grapes are gently crushed and fermented in open-top tanks for two weeks, creating rich structure in the wine. Minimal sulfur dioxide usage preserves fruit intensity and enhances the rich, round tannins. French oak barrels; 40 percent in new oak barrels, 30 percent in one-year old oak barrels, and 30 percent in two-year old oak barrels; intensify the complexity and character of the wine. Although labor intensive, these techniques produce superbly enhanced flavors and textures in our wines. The Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon is a distinctive wine with beautiful balance and solid structure. Inviting, elegant aromas of vanilla and cherry lead to lush flavors of blackberry and plum, finishing with a lingering whisper of toasty oak. Due to its unique style, this wine will maintain interest and liveliness for years to come.
Enjoy our Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon alongside beef with sautéed mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes or roasted rack of lamb.