2015 Martin Ray Sauvignon Blanc Dutton George
Located just north of the Dutton family home ranch, with its back to Green Valley Creek these young vines, which have only produced their second vintage, have again exceeded our expectations and earned their rank among our single-vineyard tier. Grown on the flats of the Green Valley, the vineyard's excellent exposure, consistently cool temperatures and well-draining soil add up to the perfect trifecta to showcase the unique character of the Musque clone Sauvignon Blanc.
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.
Careful timing is required when harvesting the Musque clone of Sauvignon Blanc, because too early can lead to green, unripe flavors, while harvesting beyond peak physiological ripeness can mean losing the floral characteristics that set the clone apart. This vineyard was hand-picked and whole-cluster pressed early in the season, then put to neutral French oak barrels with a passive yeast strain intended for slow, cool fermentations and maintanence of the fruit’s natural distinction. Fermentation is stopped immediately upon reaching dryness, and not allowed to go through malo-lactic fermentation in order to preserve its bright tropical and floral aromas.
The cool climate and specific clone exemplify this wine’s aroma of zesty grapefruit, aromatic Meyer lemon, and creamy lime sorbet, accented with jasmine and orange blossoms. Its acidity plays out on the edges of the palate as clean and concise, while accenting its plush midpalate and clean finish.