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2017 Birichino "Peter Martin Ray Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1483481 94 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Inky violet color. A highly complex bouquet displays smoke-accented cherry, cassis, pipe tobacco and incense aromas and an exotic spice overtone. Firm and energetic on the palate, offering concentrated dark berry, bitter cherry, floral pastille, chewing tobacco and succulent herb flavors that deepen, spread out and pick up a hint of cola with aeration. Seamless, focused, lithe and distinctly old school in character, in the best way, finishing impressively long and spicy, with building florality and dusty tannins lending closing grip. 13.5% alcohol here, by the way. (JR) Inner quote mark (10/2020)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "Late on a Sunday night during harvest in September 2017, John got a text with an offer we couldn’t refuse. The patriarch of the Ray family, retired Stanford botanist Peter Martin Ray, was offering us some fruit. His vineyard, located in the Chaîne d'Or of the Santa Cruz Mountains, is one of the most celebrated neighborhoods in California winedom, with a history to match. The original cuttings were sourced from 19th Century plantings of Dr. Emmett Rixford and Paul Masson, from whom Peter’s late father, the winemaking iconoclast Martin Ray, had learned to make wine in the early decades of the 20th Century. Martin Ray began planting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir here in 1943, adding Cabernet Sauvignon to this ridge-top in the mid-1950s. In 1972, most of the original land was ceded to Martin Ray's investors to become Mt. Eden, but the family retained two choice parcels, farming them organically, and without irrigation. This hilltop of shallow Franciscan shale, 1800’ above Silicon Valley, lies just to the southeast of Monte Bello. The 2017 vintage is a dark purple crimson, with amazingly dense aromas of black currant and violets, and a long finish that remains wonderfully lifted and fresh, but firmly supported by fine tannins that remind us of the lineage of the source material for these vines: cuttings brought in the 1880s from Château Margaux."

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Price: $74.95

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