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Martin Ray Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • JS93
  • WW89
13.8% ABV
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13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Martin Ray is thrilled with the intricacies and sophistication of this vintage’s Chardonnay. Traditional and elegant, this wine boasts layers of Meyer lemon curd, ripe Bosc pear, with subtle orange blossom and honey. The body is layered and complex throughout the palate, yet light and juicy with vibrant acidity around the edges, finishing with a delicate touch of Tahitian vanilla bean and well-integrated oak. Delicious and crisp, it is an effortless companion with food as well as an elegant everyday drinker.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 93
James Suckling
A deep and layered white with cooked-apple, pineapple and banana aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, firm and very tight with lovely brightness and clarity. Stone and mineral undertones. Drink now. Screw cap.
WW 89
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: Distinctive Chardonnays <$20 2017 are difficult to find. the martin ray vineyards & winery sonoma coast is one of best deals in marketplace. tasting notes: this wine zippy and delicious. its aromas flavors bright fruit, citrus, chalk should pair it well with hamachi avocado handrolls. (tasted: october 24, 2018, san francisco, ca)< div>
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Martin Ray

Martin Ray

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Martin Ray, 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.

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Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

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Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

STC546160_2017 Item# 507554