2015 Martin Ray Tina Marie Pinot Noir
For several vintages now, Tina Marie Vineyard has been the foundation of our Reserve Green Valley Pinot Noir. The gently sloping vineyard which lies butted against the foothills of the coastal mountains at the eastern corner of the AVA, has unceasingly produced phenomenal wine from the three clones planted there. The drought conditions of the 2015 vintage pushed this vineyard right over the top, concentrating the already intense flavors and aromas, which made it an obvious choice for a single-vineyard bottling.
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.
There are three clones grown in the blocks at Tina Marie Vineyard: the classic Dijon clones of 667, 777, and 115. Due to the small yields of the 2015 vintage, we co-fermented 667 and 777 clones after hand-sorting and layering them into our small open-top fermenters, while the 115 was fermented as a single lot. We chose two specialized Burgundian yeasts, designed for fruit driven aromatics and color extraction. The lots were basket-pressed and barreled down separately to 40% new French oak for 12 months before we hand-selected the final six barrels that ultimately made up our single-vineyard blend.
This wine is our tribute to the legacy of Green Valley Pinot Noir. The blend of clones reveals intense notes of ripened raspberry, delectable baked blackberry cobbler, aromatic cherry blossoms, and earthy notes of strawberry rhubarb. With its well-known zesty acidity and silky tannins, the lush body leads to a lingering finish with unobtrusive notes of oaky vanilla and caramel.