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2017 Birichino "Peter Martin Ray Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon SKU #1483481

Price: $74.95

VN 94 WE 93
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Professional Reviews

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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Staff Reviews

  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    2/25/2021
    K&L Staff Member
    When I first tasted this wine with John, I must admit the very idea of it made me chuckle. I’ve known John since my Bonny Doon days, and he’s long been adamant about a few things: the superiority of screw cap closures; and his aversion to mainstream varietals. Here he was, bottle in hand (complete with waxed cork closure) saying, “You have to taste this Cabernet!” However, this is no ordinary Cab. It’s sourced from a block planted in the 1950s at the legendary Peter Martin Ray Vineyard, just a stone’s throw from Ridge’s Monte Bello Vineyard. This neighborhood produces some of the most revered, longest-lived wine in the country, and Birichino’s rendition lives up to the reputation.

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