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Martin Ray Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
  • WE90
14.4% ABV
  • JS94
  • JS94
  • WS91
  • WW90
  • W&S91
  • WS95
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4.4 13 Ratings
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4.4 13 Ratings
14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

After being hand harvested, the grapes follow the meticulous winemaking techniques perfected by Martin Ray over sixty years ago. The grapes are gently crushed and fermented in open-top tanks for two weeks, creating rich structure in the wine. Minimal sulfur dioxide usage preserves fruit intensity and enhances the rich, round tannins. Aged for thirty months in French oak barrels, 35 percent in new oak barrels and 65 percent in 1–4 year old barrels, intensifies the complexity and character of the wine. Although labor intensive, these techniques produce superbly enhanced flavors and textures in our wines. The Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon is a distinctive wine with beautiful balance and solid structure. Inviting, elegant aromas of vanilla and cherry lead to lush flavors of blackberry and plum, finishing with a lingering whisper of toasty oak. Due to its unique style, this wine will maintain interest and liveliness for years to come.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Shows the intense concentration of mountain-grown grapes and the acidity of a cool- climate vineyard. The combination yields this robust young Cabernet Sauvignon. With potent blackberry and mineral flavors, it could develop for up to six years in the cellar.
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Martin Ray

Martin Ray

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Martin Ray, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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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.

Santa Cruz Mountains

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A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay to just above Monterey county. Elevation ranges from just 800 feet to upwards of 3000, and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lay. Cool ocean winds and fog play an important role as well. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, and Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for their distinct minerality and balanced acidity. Often these wines can be aged for many years. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

WWH121843_2007 Item# 110195