2015 Martin Ray Estate Pinot Noir
Our Estate Pinot Noir is from our own 12-acre estate vineyard comprised of 7 different clones grown in highly regarded Goldridge soil just to the east of our winery. The largest section of our vineyard, which slopes down toward the Santa Rosa Laguna is planted with several famous Dijon clones including 667, 777, 115, and 828, along with a tiny corner of the lesser known, but beautifully intense 943. Our smaller vineyard, which we refer to as "The Tower Block" is comprised entirely of Clone 37, which is our legacy to our winery's name sake, who brought the vines himself from France in the 1930's.
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.
After yielding only a few tons during its first vintage in 2014, we were looking forward to a large crop that would allow us to better showcase each clone's unique personality, only to be met with a year that stymied almost all yields across the board. We did however, manage to get enough to isolate our favorite clones (667, 943 and our Martin Ray Heritage Clone). The clones were fermented in a single open-top fermenter, layered in one at a time to fully integrate the each individual personality. After a brief maceration period, the must was basket-pressed to low-impact 40% new French oak for 11 months of aging.
This beautifully traditional Russian River Pinot Noir is awash in delicious raspberry jam, fresh pomegranates, spicy nutmeg, and a definitive minerality, that along with the bright acid, lifts the palate to make this a truly wonderful ambassador for our Estate wines.