2018 Martin Ray George Vineyard Dutton Ranch Sauvignon Blanc
Located just north of the Dutton family home ranch, with its back to Green Valley Creek these young vines, which have only produced their third vintage, have again exceeded our expectations and earned their rank among our single-vineyard tier. Grown on the flats of the Green Valley, the vineyard's excellent exposure, consistently cool temperatures and well-draining soil add up to the perfect trifecta to showcase the unique character of the Musque clone Sauvignon Blanc.
2018 brought moderate temperatures and a long growing season in the Russian River Valley. This vintage required patience from both growers and vintners alike, as harvest commenced about three weeks later than the previous four vintages. With a longer growing season, yields were higher than usual and the vineyards required an above average number of thinning passes, so as to maximize quality in the grapes being harvested and put into production. With such agreeable weather, Russian River Valley grapes were able to reach full maturation, resulting in excellent flavor development and acidity retention across the board.
Careful timing is required when harvesting the Musque clone of Sauvignon Blanc, because too early can lead to green, unripe flavors, while harvesting beyond peak physiological ripeness can mean losing the floral characteristics that set the clone apart. This vineyard was hand-picked and whole-cluster pressed early in the season, then put to neutral French oak barrels with a passive yeast strain intended for slow, cool fermentations and maintanence of the fruit’s natural distinction. Fermentation is stopped immediately upon reaching dryness, and not allowed to go through malo-lactic fermentation in order to preserve its bright tropical and floral aromas.
The cool climate and specific Musque clone exemplify this wine’s aroma of bright orange blossom and meyer lemon. On the palate, Granny Smith apple and ripe citrus pave the way for a beautiful, silky, texture and mouthfeel. The bright acidity and creamy texture provides a clean, lengthy finish.