2015 Martin Ray RRV Sauvignon Blanc
Throughout the years, Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc has increasingly grown in popularity and notoriety as its distinct style has emerged, and become a definitive standard of the varietal. To fully embody this, we use a similar method in choosing vineyards as we do for our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We sourced from warm, sun-drenched vineyards in the central part of the valley, as well as cooler, foggy, clone-specific plots in the heart of Green Valley in order to epitomize the striking blend of tropical and citrus notes.
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 lots selected for our Sauvignon Blanc each come to us hand-picked in ½ ton bins and are promptly conveyed, whole-cluster, into our press. We use gentle pressure so as not to over-extract skin and seed tannins, then allow the juice to settle for two days in a chilled tank. After racking, each separate lot is inoculated with specific yeast strains, each isolated to optimize the fruit’s natural tropical and floral notes. Fermentation is stopped immediately upon dryness to maintain bright acidity.
This complex wine is easily one of our favorite Sauvignon Blancs in a stretch of already exemplary vintages. Strong notes of ripe pear, and golden apple with undertones of tropical guava and mango are contrasted with citrusy lime zest, tangerine, and a hint of minerality. The palate boasts a flawless carry-through from the front to the back, with a pop of clean, refined acid at the finish.