2015 Martin Ray Dark Star Hill Pinot Noir
Green Valley’s proven record as one of the most highly acclaimed Pinot Noir AVA’s in the state has garnished a reputation as revered as its Cabernet counterparts in our neighboring Napa Valley. Our 2015 Dark Star Hill is our homage to the breadth of style, and intricate complexities of the fruit that is grown within its narrow borders. With our Green Valley Reserve, our goal is to embody the bright red fruit and silky tannins that define its iconic style. Our Dark Star is intended to be the counterpart, showcasing the deeper, brooding facet of the AVA.
The culmination of factors from another drought year in California surprised us with another wonderful vintage. An unseasonably dry and warm winter, which led to an early spring, forced the vines into bud break during peak frost season. However, the spring weather stayed mild during fruit set and led into a relatively warm summer which hastened ripening to unprecedented early harvest dates. Although the crop, overall, was lighter (and much, much earlier), than we've seen in several years, the outstanding quality of the fruit and resulting wines cannot be understated.
The contributing Green Valley lots were harvested early in the cool mornings of September. The different clones are layered into small stainless-steel fermenters as they're crushed to ensure the distinct characteristics are well-integrated. The must is then gently basket pressed and put to barrel for 12 months in 55% new French oak, specifically chosen to provide a seamless integration by boosting the fruit's natural depth and beauty.
This bold, yet approachable Pinot Noir is teeming with notes of deep red pomegranate, ripe plum, and zesty cranberry, on a base of earthy wet stone, and savory wild mushroom. This wine is concentrated, but not heavy on the palate. The deep flavors and generous, resolved tannins are balanced by subtle oak-driven toffee, and the quitessential Green Valley acidity.