2017 Martin Ray Hallberg Pinot Noir
Beginning in 2015, we were immensely grateful to be given the opportunity of purchasing grapes from two blocks within the esteemed Hallberg Ranch, a beautiful dry-farmed vineyard set on rolling hills in the heart of the Russian River Valley along the southern edge of the Green Valley AVA. We give ample credit to the impeccable farming and near-perfect pick-dates of our two chosen clones, in the resulting appeal and elegance of this wine.
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 have our 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.
Two clones, Cruz and clone 828 were chosen as the base of this wine. They were picked about 10 days apart and fermented separately in our small 4-ton open top fermenters. Each was fermented with native yeast at warm temperatures in order to take full advantage of the clones’ natural depth and character. They were basket pressed and aged separately for 12 months in 40% new French oak chosen for its contribution to the fruit’s natural spice and fruit profile.
This wine is an ideal example of what Green Valley Pinot Noirs have to offer. This wine is delicate, but with a plush body, and overflowing with notes of tart cranberry, fresh pomegranate juice, and trumpet mushroom with a delicate, herbaceous undertone. There is a perceived, fruit-driven sweetness through-out, carried by a mineral-driven round body, crisp edges, and silky tannins that finish with a touch of graphite.