2015 Martin Ray Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
From high above the fog line in the Sonoma Mountains, to the sunny hillside slopes of Dry Creek Valley, and the warm, sundrenched vineyards of the Alexander Valley, we carefully choose and cultivate each lot to fully reflect the amazing potential of Sonoma County as a Cabernet Sauvignon producer. Relative to other areas of the county, our sites enjoy long, warm summer days, and greater swings in temperature as the nights cool off, which makes for especially lush, concentrated wines.
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.
Our Sonoma County Cabernets are picked overnight, or early in the cool mornings, into ½ ton bins, then sorted and destemmed to small, open-top stainless steel tanks. After cold-soaking for four days, we ferment at warm temperatures, then allow for up to two weeks of extended maceration to fully extract and integrate the fruit’s flavor and tannins. The must is then gently basket-pressed to 45% new French oak to undergo malolactic fermentation and 14 months of aging.
Our blend of Sonoma County’s sub-appellations expresses a wonderful complexity. The fruit-driven bouquet and palate extends notes of wild blackberry, aromatic violets, spicy persimmon, and mild, dry red pepper with a light oaky touch of caramel. This approachable, medium-bodied Cabernet is not to be underestimated with its structured tannins and perfectly integrated oak influence.