2019 Martin Ray Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnay (Previously $25)

SKU #1543061 93 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Mouth-wateringly intense aromas of salted butter and toast. Lemon curd, grilled pear, hazelnut and chalk, too. It’s medium-to full-bodied with tangy acidity and a toasty, saline finish. Hard to resist. Inner quote mark (2/2021)

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/22/2021 | Send Email
Even though I already consider Martin Ray one of the most consistent and top value producers in California, I was still totally stunned by the quality of this wine. This is a winery who are just right at the top of their game right now and putting out wines that are very hard (if not impossible) to beat in their price range. Clearly winemaker, Leslie Renaud, knows exactly what she's doing in the cellar, wines this good and this consistent don't happen by accident! But also Martin Ray seems to be doing a great job of getting access to some of the very best fruit in the region. The vast majority of this wine (90%) is from Bald Mountain Vineyard owned and farmed by Ryan Beauregard. This vineyard has long been one of my favorite sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains for Chardonnay. Sitting high in the western ranges, above Bonny Doon, this sites mature vines grown in powdery white sand unique to the area called Zayante Series that is formed from consolidated marine sediment. These soils seem to impart and vibrant and persistent mineral component to the wines. The cool, heavily ocean influenced climate allows the fruit to hold beautiful acidity and focus. After tasting the wine I immediately sent a note to the winery praising the wine and likening it to top notch Meursault. It has that wonderfully combination effortless power with a keen acid line. The palate resonates with nutty, lees derived qualities, some struck flint and seemingly endless saline minerals. I just couldn't get enough of this wine, it's exactly what I love in Chardonnay and I could hardly believe the astounding value this wine offers.

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