2015 Martin Ray Green Valley Chardonnay
A significant portion of our Russian River Valley Chardonnay is comprised of our favorite Chardonnay vineyards located within the borders of the prestigious Green Valley AVA. The 2015 vintage will be remembered for two key aspects: unprecedented small yields, and incredible quality.
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.
As would be proper given this wine’s Green Valley heritage, we take special care with each step from vineyard to bottle. These grapes are handpicked then whole-cluster pressed with careful attention in separating the free run and lightly pressed juice from hard press to eliminate potential bitterness. It is then racked to French oak barrels to undergo primary and malo-lactic fermentation, during which it is stirred bi-weekly to maximize mouthfeel and volume. This wine aged for 12 months on 40% new French oak, before we hand-selected the best barrels of each lot to make up the blend.
Traditional and elegant, this wine boasts layers of citrus grapefruit and Key lime zest, luscious green apple, honeydew melon, and decadent vanilla cream. The body is layered and complex throughout the palate, yet light and juicy with crisp acidity around the edges and finish.
Our Chardonnay would pair well with chicken piccata over wild rice.