Martin Ray Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2015

Martin Ray Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2015

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This wine has a unique balance of approachability and surprising complexity. The blend boasts enticing aromas of golden apple, ripe nectarine and honeydew melon, highlighted by fragrant jasmine blossom and citrusy Meyer lemon with an undertone of vanilla cream. It is fruit forward, with a creamy mid-palate, and clean acidity on the finish. The carefully selected barrels offer an oak presence that elevates the wine without overshadowing its natural character.

Pair this refreshing Chardonnay with grilled herb marinated sea bass with mango chutney.

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.

Wine Spectator: 93
Very crisp and clear with dried apple, peach, honey and pie crust. Full to medium body, lovely center palate. Lively finish. Partial malo. Great value for outstanding quality.
Wine Enthusiast: 90
Apple blossom intrigues on the nose of this light-bodied, low-oaked white. It's both steely and revealing, showing succulent mango, peach and pear. The acidity is lively and balanced.