2016 Martin Ray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Our Sonoma Coast is blend of some of our favorite vineyards that comprise this vast AVA. Morning fog that often hangs on long into the day before giving way to warm direct sun, gives the vines and fruit an extended growing season to optimize its distinct terroir. Taking pride in myriad of profiles of fruit that develop from the cool climate and elevation, we often think of the Sonoma Coast as the most varied and vintage driven of all our single vineyards.
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. Harvested September 7th.
These grapes were hand-picked and sorted to a small open top fermenter, where the lot was allowed to go through fermentation with its native yeast culture to preserve every facet of its unique character. This lot, due to its prominent tannic structure was treated more similarly to a Cabernet, in that we maintained an extended maceration for a full 10 days before basket-pressing to medium-impact barrels to allow native malo-lactic fermentation and 14 months of aging on 45% new French oak.
This rich striking wine fulfills all the expectations of Pinot Noir grown on the Sonoma Coast. Notes of ripe plum, hibiscus, and fresh picked raspberry lead to crushed pepper and and sweet clove. From striking acidity and a rush of full fruit to supple tannins, the finish rounds out clean and savory.