2016 Martin Ray Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Carefully chosen from various vineyards throughout the Russian River Valley and Carneros, this wine's largest components are grown only feet from the river itself in our long-sourced Ricioli and Foppiano Vineyards. Building on a strong base from these vineyards, the wine is focused with fruit from a few select vineyards around our home on Laguna Road, as well as Sangiacomo Vineyard in the Carneros appellation.
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 vineyards that comprise this blend were fermented separately in small open-top fermenters with gentle punch-downs. The fermentations were carefully maintained at moderate temperatures until dry, when the must was basket-pressed then pumped into barrels for completion of malolactic fermentation. Lots were aged for eleven months in new premium French oak barrels, along with more nuanced 1-2 year old barrels.
This Pinot Noir exemplifies the expectations of what savvy consumers have come to look forward to from classic Sonoma County Pinot. The nose has notes of ripe elderberry, black cherry, aromatic wild rose, and spicy cola, with slightly earthy undertones. French oak barrels lend support with hints of creamy vanilla and toffee without overpowering the juicy, fruit-forward palate.
Food & Wine Pairing
Pair this vibrant, silky Pinot Noir with mustard crusted salmon with roasted scallions.