2015 Martin Ray RRV Chardonnay
In an effort to produce a wine that pays honorable tribute to its home in the esteemed Russian River Valley, as well as over-deliver in quality for both the Chardonnay enthusiast and casual wine drinker alike, we source our grapes from premium sites throughout the region. Our long-established relationships with the growers who supply our fruit ensures consistent, impeccable quality vintage after vintage.This blend includes, inlarge part, several of the vineyards that have shown such exceptional quality as to be bottled as limited-production, single vineyard Chardonnays including Bisordi and Mill Station of Dutton Ranch.
The culmination of factors from another drought year in California surprisedus 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.
Due to the diverse extent of our sourcing, each lot is picked individually at peak ripeness and flavor development. The fruit is gently pressed with care to not over-extract bitter tannins, cold-settled for two days and then racked to 30% new French oak barrels for fermentation. Some lots are allowed indigenous fermentations, while others are inoculated with carefully chosen yeast strains to accentuate fruit or aromatics. All lots undergo malolactic fermentation to add a rich mouthfeel while maintaining delicate floral aromas.
This wine has a unique balance of approachability and surprising complexity. Our blend boasts enticing aromas of golden apple, ripe nectarine and honeydew melon, highlighted by fragrant jasmine blossom and citrusy Meyer lemon with an undertone of vanilla cream. It is fruit-forward, with a creamy mid-palate, and clean acidity on the finish. The carefully selected barrels offer an oak presence that elevates the wine without overshadowing its natural character.