2018 Martin Ray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
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 longestablished 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 havour crops in and did not suffer loss with our most prized vineyards. Overall, with the highs and the lows, we anticipate great results inquality from this memorable vintage.
The vineyards that comprise this blend were fermented separately in small open-top fermenters with gentle punch-downs. The fermentations were carefully maintained at moderate temperatures until dry, when the must was basket-pressed then pumped into barrels for completion of malolactic fermentation. Lots were aged for eleven months in new premium French oak barrels, along with more nuanced 1-2 year old barrels.
This Pinot Noir exemplifies the 2017 vintage, carrying all the expected traits of an exemplary growing season in Russian River Valley, as well as Carneros. The nose offers fresh pomegranate juice, strawberry, ripe Bing Cherry, and notes of sarsparilla, which leads into tart cranberry, a subtle touch of mace and silky refined tannins. French oak barrels lend support with hints of creamy vanilla without overpowering the fresh, fruit-forward palate.