2016 Martin Ray Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir
The third vintage from our Estate Pinot Noir vineyard yielded a phenomenal crop from all seven of our clones. From these, we culled a few tons from our favorite blocks, early in the season to produce our Estate Rosé. We based this vintage on the dense clone 943, the aromatic and bright 115, and the spicy Martin Ray heritage clone 37.
Much to the 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.
After careful sampling and testing in the field, we went through vine-by-vine and only picked a few tons from our three blocks, from the vines we felt were the most developed. The grapes were whole-cluster pressed on a long gentle cycle to a chilled stainless steel tank. In an effort to fully display our unique Estate aromas and flavors, we allowed the wine to ferment with its native yeast, and stopped fermentation immediately upon dryness to preserve the bright fruit and acid.
The combination of clones and the intricacies resulting from the native ferment have resulted in a gorgeous Rosé, abundant in notes of tropical kiwi and passionfruit, ripe red apple and apricot, tart raspberry, and zesty pink grapefruit. This wine will surely pair amazingly with food as well as being an ideal easy drinker for an afternoon on the porch, with its juicy mouthfeel, and precise acidity.