2016 Martin Ray Moon Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Sitting on the western slopes of the Mayacama Mountains that divide Sonoma and Napa Valleys, this AVA is every bit as deserving of notoriety as are Diamond Mountain and Mt. Veeder just across the ridge. Deep red volcanic soil, at similar elevations, and the great shift in weather with cool evening wind make this small mountaintop ideal for concentrated Cabernets. Gazing down from 1600’ over the town of Kenwood, Charlie Smith Vineyard is impeccable, grown organically, and offers deep flavorful fruit.
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 of drought conditions. The summer was kind, with only minimal spikes, carrying over into a true Indian Summer. The fruit experienced 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.
This vintage of our Moon Mountain is opulent and complex with sun ripened plum, elderberry and cassis with an undercurrent of gravel and earth. Hints of dried Herbs de Provence and dusty cocoa linger with resolved tannins, offering a plush, supple finish. Truly a unique and exceptional Cabernet, it is a welcome addition to our portfolio.