2016 Martin Ray Santa Cruz Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
The Ben Lomand AVA, whose history dates back to the 1860’s was first established by the Beauregard family in 1983, and their home ranch is the only vineyard producing grapes out of this sub appellation, made famous by its legacy during the 1971 judgement of Paris. At 2600 feet with dramatic shifts in temperature, this vineyard produces fruit that is never one to shyly blend in with the crowd.
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.
Small lot fermentations in 4-6 ton open top fermenters with at least thrice daily pumpovers for cap management. As with all of our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignons, after finishing primary fermentation, the wine is allowed to sit on its skins for up to a month prior to basket pressing. Aged for 18 months in 60% new French oak. Harvested September 19th.
Never one to shyly blend in with the crowd, this wine’s depth and boisterousness is its most notable strength. With deep hues of ripe cherry layered with mulberry and crushed blackberry with underlying savory notes of roasted peppers, kalamata olive, and tobacco leaf. Characteristic of Santa Cruz, there is a definitive herbaceous tone with notes of Earl Grey tea and dried mountain sage, offering a very welcome wild side. The palate is defined by its solid tannins, bright natural acidity, and graphite-like minerality with a deep, dark chocolate finish.