Carefully chosen from vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Carneros, many of this wine’s key components were grown metres from the Russian River itself. The wine also incorporates fruit from select vineyards tended by long-time growers around the Martin Ray estate on Laguna Road.
Much to the delight of grape growers and winemakers, the 2016 vintage was marked by ideal conditions from beginning to end. After years of drought, rain in early winter and spring eased growers’ concerns and replenished groundwater reserves. Summer brought minimal heat spikes, and fall brought cool, foggy mornings and mild days. Fruit was harvested at optimal maturity, with no rush.
Grapes were fermented by vineyard plot in small open-top fermenters with gentle punch-downs. The fermentations were carefully maintained at moderate temperatures, then basket-pressed and transferred to barrels for malolactic fermentation. Lots were aged for 11 months in French oak, both new barrels and more nuanced one- to two-year-old barrels.
This wine captures the savvy customer’s expectations of classic Sonoma County Pinot from a stellar vintage, showing all the traits of an exemplary growing season: the nose shows fresh raspberry, cherry, and cola spice, leading into tart cranberry, subtle nutmeg, and silky tannins.
“A subtle and rich Pinot with dried-cherry and strawberry character. Medium to full body and firm, silky tannins that are extremely well-integrated in the palate. Lovely finish. Drink or hold.”
94 points, JamesSuckling.com, May 2018