2016 Martin Ray Dark Star Hill Pinot Noir
Green Valley’s proven record as one of the most highly acclaimed Pinot Noir AVA’s in the state has garnished a reputation as revered as its Cabernet counterparts in our neighboring Napa Valley. Our 2015 Dark Star Hill is our homage to the breadth of style, and intricate complexities of the fruit that is grown within its narrow borders. With our Green Valley Reserve, our goal is to embody the bright red fruit and silky tannins that define its iconic style. Our Dark Star is intended to be the counterpart, showcasing the deeper, brooding facet of the AVA.
Green Valley’s delight of both grape growers and winemakers, the 2016 vintage carried through from beginning to end, with ideal conditions and ideal results. Long-awaited rainfall during the winter and early spring replenished desperate reservoirs and ground water, easing the concerns generated by several years’ worth of drought conditions. The summer was kind, with only a few heat spikes, which then carried over into a true Indian Summer; keeping daytime temperatures above normal, and the mornings foggy and cool throughout the peak month of September, permitting us to take our time in evaluating and calling picks at their optimal maturity. Nature patiently waited for us to bring in our
final lots before returning with the rain that has traditionally been the signal for the end of the harvest season. Harvested September 12th.
The contributing Green Valley lots were harvested early in the cool mornings of September. The different clones are layered into small stainless-steel fermenters as they're crushed to ensure the distinct characteristics are well-integrated. The must is then gently basket pressed and put to barrel for 12 months in 55% new French oak, specifically chosen to provide a seamless integration by boosting the fruit's natural depth and beauty.
Notably one of our most hedonistic and opulent Pinot Noirs, this structured fruit-driven wine offers deep notes of cherry cobbler and elderberry with an undercurrent of dry aged salumi, sweet anise seed, and spice. Grippy tannins offer up pencil lead, while the barrel regime delivers a balanced toasty finish.