2015 Martin Ray Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
East of the Mayacamas range, in the heart of the valley, Rutherford is home to some of the most historic and world renowned wineries. Known for it’s unique terroir, with soil composition of gravel, loam, and volcanic deposits. Some of the most nuanced Napa Cabernet grows here. Perfect growing conditions, with lingering fog and warm daytime highs in the summer develop nuanced fruit due to an extended ripening period.
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 earlier), than we’ve seen in several years, the outstanding quality of the fruit and resulting wines cannot be understated.
All contributing lots are fermented in small 4-6 ton open top fermenters with at least thrice daily pump overs for cap management. After the wine has finished fermentation and gone dry, it is allowed to rest on its skins for up to a month before being drained and pressed via the gentle basket press. Aged for 18 months in 60% new French oak.
Deep notes of cassis, blackberry and kirsch, leave behind the quintessential dust one would expect from this legendary appellation. While the mid palate offers intense black cherry, its contrasting minerality and tannins shine through with graphite, earl grey tea, and a touch of tobacco leaf. Beautifully textured, with tinges of cocoa and clove, the finish is rounded by subtle vanilla and toffee.