Sunday, November 27, 2016

Martin Ray Winery Trio Part 1

*Samples Received*

It's been a while since I sat down and sipped the juice of Martin Ray Winery wines, and after tasting these fine white morsels it will not be that long again. Their philosophy to create artisan wines which "far outshine other bottles on the shelf," and in my opinion their price points in the "affordable I can buy this everyday" range definitely contributes to their popularity. Current owner Courtney Benham initially as a career farmer, one day found 1500 cases of Martin Ray library wines and promptly bought the label. Since then he has molded the business into his own vision and that continues today with winemakers Bill Batchelor and Lindsey Haughton.

Up first the 2015 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Price point $20, screw cap closure,  100% Sauv Blanc clocking in at 13.8% alch. The grapes for this wine were sourced from warm sunny vineyards in the central part of the valley along with those from cooler/foggy vineyards in the Green Valley. The results are a harmonious mix of tropical and citrus notes. The grapes are hand picked and whole clustered into the press. The nose is full of ripe apple, pear and tangerine notes with a splash of lime citrus and minerality. The mouth is crisp and refreshing with loads of tropical fruit and the finish has nice acidity. Found this wine very refreshing and pleasing. Paired with fresh white fish and oh so good.

Second wine was the 2015 Russian River Valley Rose Of Pinot Noir. For the record I love rose wine! Price point $20, screw cap closure, 100% Pinot Noir clocking in at 13.8% alch. Grapes for this wine are sourced in small amounts from all the premium RRV and Green Valley Vineyards to maximize complexity and bouquet. Produced in the saignee method, the ripe grapes were crushed into stainless steel and allowed to remain in contact with the skins 6-8 hours to maximize color and flavor. On the nose strawberry, watermelon with hints of orange zest and cherry. The mouth exhibits strawberry, watermelon, cherry and a hint of orange. Absolute palate pleaser and enjoyed with my wife (she loved it as well).

Final wine the 2015 Russian River Valley Chardonnay. price point $20, screw cap closure, 100% Russian River Chardonnay clocking in at 13.8%. Like the pinot grapes, the chardonnay grapes were also sourced from the premium vineyards throughout the region with long established relationship with the growers. A few of the grapes which contributed to this vintage comes from Bisordi, Mill Station and Dutton Ranch. The grapes are gently pressed, cold settled for 2 days then racked in 30% new french oak. Malolactic fermentaion adds a rich mouthfeel to the wines while still showcasing the beautiful floral aromas. Classic aromas of apple, pear and melon with wild flower notes and creamy vanilla. So aromatic. The mouth is rich with apple and pear followed by a creamy silky vanilla with a slight hint of oak on the finish. Another beautiful wine and this paired with an herb chicken dish.

When visiting wine country swing by their tasting room at 2191 Laguna Road in Santa Rosa Ca where you can taste or have a beautiful garden picnic. Either choice you can't go wrong.