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Just Over the Hill in Wine Country; Martin Ray

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“A great wine suspends time and place within a bottle,” are the words that Martin Ray Winery works toward when making their wines. A winery that sources grapes primarily from Sonoma and Napa vineyards, Martin Ray produces wine under three different labels, Courtney Benham, (the proprietor) Angeline and Martin Ray. The three labels represent three different price levels. All three labels are available at our Reno Total Wine store.

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The Angeline Chardonnay is aged in 30% new French oak giving the vibrant lemon flavors some nice vanilla undertones without too much butter. The Angeline Cabernet Sauvignon has 15% Petite Sirah. The grapes are sourced from both Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys. The wine has a malolactic softness to it with aromas of black fruit and tobacco and a good structured acidity.

Under the Martin Ray label is a Pinot Noir Rosé made in the saigné method. It has an earthy strawberry flavor with good tannins. The Mendocino Grenache tastes like a tangy berry cobbler. It spends 12 months in 1 year old French oak. The Russian River Pinot Noir is silky with cedar and raspberry aromas and a good, crisp acidity. The Napa Valley Merlot comes the closest to living up to the winery's goal of suspending time and place. It has black cherry and cardomom aromas nicely integrated with subtle wood undertones. It is a substantial wine worth pondering.

Martin Ray is located at 2191 Laguna Road in Santa Rosa. The tasting room is open daily from 11am to 5pm. Www.martinraywinery.com

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