2014 Martin Ray Coast Grade Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains
Our Santa Cruz Mountains Reserve Pinot Noir comes from Coast Grade Vineyard,located in the high stony slopes of the coastal side of the Santa Cruz Mountains.Attentively farmed by Jim Beauregard and his family, these are steep hillside vineyards that enjoy morning and evening fog from the San Francisco Bay and perfectconditions for reaching optimum ripeness while maintaining balanced acidity.
The 2014 vintage was challenging due to drought, but produced amazing fruit withlower yields than the previous harvests. An ideal growing season with moderatetemperatures and weather conditions throughout allowed the vines to stay healthyand maintain concentrated flavors and exceptional quality in the smaller clusters andlower yields.
This wine followed our protocol for standard, high-end Pinot Noir fermentation, in small stainless steel open-top fermenters using punch-downs to manage the cap. It is basket pressed following primary fermentation, then put to barrel to begin its aging process. This Pinot Noir is aged for 14 months in 55% new French oak.
Always our most unique appellation, the Santa Cruz fruit sets itself apart with deepred pomegranate, wild boysenberries, and rhubarb jam, layered on the appellation's definitive earthy notes of savory wild mushrooms, and spices reminiscent of red chilipowder and sage. With more highly structured tannins than its Russian River Valley counterparts, this wine has focused acidity, and a clean, conclusive finish with a hint of toasty toffee.