2015 Martin Ray Hallberg Pinot Noir
For the 2015 harvest, we were immensely grateful to be given the opportunity of purchasing grapes from two blocks within the esteemed Hallberg Vineyard, along the southern edge of the Green Valley AVA. This was our first vintage with this fruit, so we give ample credit to the impeccable farming and near-perfect pick-dates of our two chosen clones, in the resulting appeal and elegance of this wine.
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.
Two clones were chosen as the base of this wine. They were picked about 10 days apart and fermented separately in our small 4-ton open top fermenters. Each was fermented with native yeast at warm temperatures in order to take full advantage of the clones' natural depth and character. They were basket pressed and aged separately for 12 months in 40% new French oak chosen for its contribution to the fruit's natural spice and fruit profile.
This wine is an ideal example of what Green Valley Pinot Noirs have to offer. This wine is delicate, but with a plush body, and overflowing with notes of tart cranberry, sun-ripened raspberry, tropical passionfruit, aromatic cherry blossoms, and the slight earthiness of boysenberry bramble. There is a perceived, fruit-driven sweetness throughout, carried by the round body, crisp edges, and silky tannins that end with hints of baking spices and rose petals.