2014 Martin Ray Santa Cruz Mtn. Cabernet Sauvignon
This year’s Martin Ray Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the distinguished mountaintop home of Beauregard’s Bald Mountain Vineyard. Beauregard Vineyard is a very small plot on the south face of Ben Lomond Mountain, made famous by its legacy during the 1971 Judgment of Paris. The site produces intense fruit from small, compact clusters thanks to the ever-present marine influence and rare, white sandy soil. The vineyard enjoys morning and evening fog coupled with long growing seasons, allowing the grapes to reach maturity late in the season, with deep color, concentrated flavors and bright natural acidity.
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.
Small lot fermentations in 4-6 ton open top fermenters with at least thrice daily pumpovers for cap management. As with all of our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignons, after finishing primary fermentation, the wine is allowed to sit on its skins for up to a month prior to basket pressing. Aged for 18 months in 60% new French oak.
Never one to shyly blend in with the crowd, this wine’s depth and boisterousness is its most notable strength. With deep red hues of ripened black cherry, wild boysenberry, and candied red apple, layered on more savory notes of smoky cayenne pepper, savory black trumpet mushrooms, and aromatic dried lavender and spearmint, this wine has a very welcome wild side. The palate is defined by its solid tannins, bright natural acidity, and graphite-like minerality with a deep, dark chocolate finish.