2014 Martin Ray Mill Station GRN VL Chardonnay
The grapes for this wine were sourced in Russian River Valley from the Mill Station Vineyard in Green Valley. Back in the 1970's, Martin Ray was one of the first wineries to highlight the stellar Dutton Ranch fruit in their bottlings, and we continue this long term partnership today. Mill Station possesses the rare combination of excellent soil, old vines and ideal climate to consistently produce Chardonnay with finesse.
The 2014 vintage was challenging due to drought, but produced amazing fruit with smaller clusters and lower yields. An ideal harvest with consistently moderate temperatures and weather conditions, allowed the vines and fruit to stay healthy and maintain concentrated flavors and exceptional quality.
As a vineyard-designated Chardonnay, we take extra care in every step, from the vineyard to the bottle, to capture the distinct terroir of Mill Station Vineyard. Free run and light press are separated immediately from hard press to eliminate potential bitterness. After the juice is pressed and racked, it is sent to 40% new French Oak barrels to undergo both primary and secondary fermentations. In order to add complexity to the aromas, flavors, and mouthfeel, we separate the juice into several lots, and inoculate with different yeast and malolactic strains. During fermentation, it is stirred bi-weekly to maximize lees contact. The wine ages in barrel for 12 months before we individually select barrels to make the final blend.
This creamy, barrel-aged Chardonnay boasts depth and complexity of spices and fruit layered intimately with distinct, complementary oak. It has delectable aromas of lemon cream pie, creamy butterscotch pudding, coupled with candied ginger and traces of caramel and toffee. The body is lush, yet honed and clean, and finishes with poised citrus acidity.