2017 Martin Ray Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir
The third vintage from our Estate Pinot Noir vineyard yielded a phenomenal crop from all seven of our clones. From these, we culled a few tons from our favorite blocks, early in the season to produce our Estate Rosé. We based this vintage on the dense clone 943, the aromatic and bright 115, and the spicy Martin Ray heritage clone 37.
After several years of drought, California and its growers were delighted to receive record setting rain and a return to normalcy during the winter season. Cooler temperatures offered the vines a longer winter slumber, pushing back budbreak to mid-March, with spring temperatures carrying into May. Heat spikes in early summer led to veraison beginning early July. Hotter than average days brought ripening, but diurnal shifts overnight gave the fruit much needed time to recover. Harvest came abruptly mid-August with lower than average yields, but complex fruit with expressive aromatics. October 2017 will forever be remembered historically, as Northern California was swept with severe fires. While there was devastation throughout Napa and Sonoma, we were fortunate enough to havour crops in and did not suffer loss with our most prized vineyards. Overall, with the highs and the lows, we anticipate great results in quality from this memorable vintage.
After careful sampling and testing in the field, we went through vine-by-vine and only picked a few tons from our three blocks, from the vines we felt were the most developed. The grapes were whole-cluster pressed on a long gentle cycle to a chilled stainless tank. In an effort to fully display our unique Estate aromas and flavors, we allowed the wine to ferment with its native yeast, and stopped fermentation immediately upon dryness to preserve the bright fruit and acid.
The combination of clones and the intricacies resulting from the native ferment have resulted in a gorgeous Rosé, abundant in notes of ripe peach and raspberry, fresh citrus, wild strawberry, and subtle linden flower on the finish. This wine will surely pair amazingly with food as well as being an ideal easy drinker for an afternoon on the porch, with its juicy mouthfeel, and precise acidity.