A Ray of Ripe


Transparent dark ruby, framed in wide pink edges.  Thick, rich nose, sullen and bruised but so dense with decadently ripe black cherry, cream cheese with honey, and a big fat slather of burnt rubber throwing the whole thing into decidedly-tarry territory.  But it never quite gets there.  The fruit has a vibrancy to it, thinning out all the assumptions of stewwed concentrate and offering your tongue a wine rather light on its feet.

Regular readers of mine don’t have to be told this is one of my favorite wineries in the Russian River Valley–hell, one of my favorite wineries in all of Sonoma.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt they have the Santa Cruz Mt. roots.  But across the board–full roster–they do so many things right.

In the mouth, smart brilliance from the first swish.  Sweet, light fruit juice–almost spritzy in its delicateness–swells quickly to a concentrated powerhouse of nectar.  Spices drool as a green-briar thread noticeable in that burnt-rubber-part of the bouquet slowly becomes a dominant participant in the mouth-feel, again turning any apprehensions of flabbiness aside as it becomes full-blown tannins.

2015 MARTIN RAY Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Sonoma County 13.4

www.martinraywinery.com

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