2017 Martin Ray Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
In an effort to produce a wine that pays honorable tribute to the esteemed Sonoma Coast AVA as well as over-deliver in quality for both the Chardonnay enthusiast and casual wine drinker alike, we source our grapes from premium sites throughout the region. Our long-established relationships with the growers who supply our fruit ensures consistent, impeccable quality vintage after vintage. This blend includes, in large part, several of the vineyards that have shown as standouts within the vast and rugged Sonoma Coast.
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.
Due to the diversity of our sourcing, each lot is picked individually at peak ripeness and flavor development. The fruit is gently pressed with long cycles so as not to over-extract bitter tannins, cold-settled for two days and then racked to 35% new French oak barrels for fermentation. Some lots are allowed indigenous fermentations, while others are inoculated with carefully chosen yeast strains to accentuate fruit or aromatics. All lots undergo malolactic fermentation to add a rich mouthfeel while maintaining delicate floral aromas.
We are thrilled with the intricacies and sophistication of this vintage’s Chardonnay. Traditional and elegant, this wine boasts layers of Meyer lemon curd, ripe Bosc pear, with subtle orange blossom and honey. The body is layered and complex throughout the palate, yet light and juicy with vibrant acidity around the edges, finishing with a delicate touch of Tahitian vanilla bean and well-integrated oak. Delicious and crisp, it is an effortless companion with food as well as elegant everyday drinker.