2016 Martin Ray Russian River Sauvignon Blanc
Throughout the years, Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc has increasingly grown in popularity and notoriety as its distinct style has emerged, and become a definitive standard of the varietal. To fully embody this, we use a similar method in choosing vineyards as we do for our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We sourced from warm, sun-drenched vineyards in the central part of the valley, as well as cooler, foggy, clone-specific plots in the heart of Green Valley in order to epitomize the striking blend of tropical and citrus notes.
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.
The select vineyards for our Sauvignon Blanc, each come to us hand-picked in ½ ton bins and are promptly conveyed, whole-cluster, into our press. We use long cycles and gentle pressure to avoid over-extraction of skin and seed tannins, then allow the juice to settle for two days in a chilled tank. After racking, each separate lot is inoculated with “Bright-White” varietal-specific yeast strains, isolated to optimize the fruit’s natural tropical and floral notes. Fermentation is stopped immediately upon dryness to maintain bright acidity.
Another stunning harvest, and another stunning year for our Sauvignon Blanc! This beautifully complex wine exhibits notes of tropical passionfruit, guava, and ripe pineapple, with delicious nectarine, and an earthy-citrus note of lemongrass. These flavors are intensified by the juicy, clean body and wrapped up with a zesty and concise finish.