2014 Martin Ray Winery "Tower Red"
Hailing from the same century-old, family-owned ranch as our Forchini Malbec and Cabernet Franc Reserve wines, we cherry-picked just a couple barrels from each of the aforementioned lots to accent our base of decadent, brooding Petit Verdot to serve as our homage to the landmark tower for which we are so well known. Although it may seem uncharacteristic to present a Dry Creek Valley wine as the flagship for our Russian River home, we feel it’s the perfect anbassador of the exemplary quality and diversity from our region, that we devotedly seek out to flaunt vintage after vintage.
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.
The outstanding quality of our Petit Verdot makes it an obvious target as a blending wine for a myriad of our Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux red varietals. The dense, powerful fruit is gently destemmed and sprinkled with oak dust as it’s layered into the fermenter in order to begin taming the tannins from the moment it arrives. We ferment the wine in small, stainless steel open-top fermenters at warm temperatures, then allow it up to three weeks of extended maceration to fully integrate its flavor and textures. We then gently basket-press the must to 60% new French oak to undergo malo-lactic fermentation and 16 months of aging.
This purposefully selected blend of Bordeaux varietals showcases a complex bouquet of dark black fruit, sun-ripened wildberries, deep red cherries, and aromatic hints of leather, brown sugar, and spicy, crushed red pepper. The dense fruit profile of the Malbec, and the structure of the Cabernet Franc coupled with the Petit Verdot make this wine a surprisingly easydrinker with a plush, dense mouthfeel without overly authoritative tannins.