Martin Ray Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2010
Chardonnay from Russian River, California
Our Chardonnay is pressed in small lots with whole clusters, then mostly native yeast is used in the fermentation process with very little malolactic in order to retain brightness. The wine is 100% barrel fermented for seven months in French oak; 15% new oak, 85% 1–4 year old barrels. Aging in French oak barrels "on the lees" develops rounder, creamier texture in the wine. A nice jewel-like nose with inviting aromas of fresh juicy pear and spice notes. Rich flavors of lemon, crème brulee, light spice and toast are framed by an oak backbone. Finishes dry and crisp with a pronounced minerality.
FOOD & WINE PAIRING A succulent dish of fresh lobster tails with a rich butter sauce, fettuccine alfredo or a butternut squash soup would be an excellent match for our Chardonnay.
Wine Enthusiast - "So good for this price. Rich and creamy and ripe in tropical fruit, green apple and pear flavors, with the perfect touch of buttered toast from oak, and all that balanced and brightened with crisp acidity. Just what you want in a California Chardonnay. "
Wine & Spirits - "This citrusy chardonnay carries a lot of tension in its grapefruit flavors, finishing on sweet freshness. It's tight and clean, ready for crab."
Martin Ray Winery
Courtney Benham acquired the historic Martini & Prati winery in July 2003, which is now Martin Ray Winery and the home of their new Tasting Room. The Tasting Room structure, dating back to the 1900's, used to serve as a stable and bunkhouse where Italian immigrants stayed during harvest and crush. The winery also houses a 1 million gallon production facility that is used not only for wine production, but also as a 'custom crush' facility where over 20 clients crush their grapes and produce their wine.
Established in 1881 as the Twin Fir Winery, the historic site is distinguished as the oldest winery in continuous operation in Sonoma County and one of the oldest wineries in California. The winery was able to stay in operation during prohibition by selling sacramental wines by train to Rabbis through a winery in New York. Originally known as Martini & Prati, which was established in 1902, the winery was run by five generations of the Martini family and associated with the local Italian-American community that still includes the Sebastiani's, the Foppiano's, the Pedroncelli's and the Seghesio's. View all Martin Ray Wines
About Russian RiverView a map of Russian River wineries
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
Notable FactsThe proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review3.5 }div>3.4 out of 5 stars
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- 4 Stars: 3
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7 ratings, 2 with reviewsmitchtwin - Spring, TX46/4/201245/25/2012
So buttery and delicious.Buttaflygurl - San Francisco, CA23/16/2012
- Rich & Creamy
If you like a Citrus foward Char - then you will like this one. I am more into the creamy Char. But well balanced and crisp!412/23/2011Related ProductsThis Reserve Chardonnay perfectly reflects the world class terroir of the cool climate Russian River Valley. Capturing both sophistication and ...
- Light & Crisp
- Pair With
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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