2017 Martin Ray Synthesis Pinot Noir
Presenting our debut Synthesis Estate-grown Pinot Noir, this tiny lot is the very first vintage from our own 12-acre estate vineyard comprised of 7 different clones grown in highly regarded Goldridge soil just to the east of our winery. The largest section of our vineyard, which slopes down toward the Santa Rosa Laguna is planted with several famous Dijon clones including 667, 777, 115, and 828, along with a tiny corner of the lesser known, but beautifully intense 943. Our smaller vineyard, which we refer to as "The Tower Block" is comprised entirely of Clone 37, which is our legacy to our winery's name sake, who brought the vines himself from France in the 1930's.
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.
After yielding only a few tons during its first vintage in 2014, we were looking forward to a large crop that would allow us to better showcase each clone’s unique personality, only to be met with a year that stymied almost all yields across the board. We did however, manage to get enough to isolate our favorite clones (667, 943 and our Martin Ray Heritage Clone). The clones were fermented in a single open-top fermenter, layered in one at a time to fully integrate each individual personality. After a brief
maceration period, the must was basket-pressed to low-impact 45% new French oak for 12 months of aging.
The most burgundian of all our single-vineyard Pinots, this beautiful selection is awash in underripe raspberry, tart cranberry, savory nutmeg and touches of delicate neroli. This wine offers a quintessential Russian River fruit driven core. Lemon balm gives way to red currant, with touches of sweet basil while its poised linear acidity is flanked by structured but supple tannins. There is a definitive minerality, which lifts the palate to make this a truly wonderful ambassador.