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David Ramey is a prominent, veteran California winemaker who is known for his Chardonnays. He has been an innovator who led the charge over 30 years ago away from technically proficient squeaky clean wines towards natural winemaking methods.
The sources for Chardonnay have been impeccable including Ritchie Vineyard, Hyde Vineyard, and Hudson Vineyard. In 2012, he released a Pinot Noir from the Platt Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast. A number of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons and a Sonoma Coast Syrah round out the lineup.
In 2012, Ramey bought Westside Farms in the middle reach of the Russian River Valley and the first ever Estate Chardonnay was produced from this vineyard in the 2014 vintage. A Rochioli Vineyard Chardonnay was introduced in the 2015 vintage.
The wines are sold through a mailing list with some retail distribution.
2014 Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay
14.5% alc., 1,250 cases, $65. Old Wente selection planted in 1972. Harvest Brix 23.5º. Native yeast and full malolactic fermentation in barrel, with lees stirring. Aged 19 months in Francois Frères French oak barrels, 30% new. Fined but not filtered. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Enticing aromas of lemon oil, kiwi, green apple, slate and the slightest matchstick. Seductively oily, with fresh flavors of citrus, apple and coconut. Inviting harmony, with the right bit of toasty oak, and some finishing persistence. This wine walks the line between fruit richness and wholesome acidity. Score: 93. Reviewed July 14, 2018 ARTICLE »
2012 Ramey Hyde Vineyard Napa Carneros Chardonnay
14.5% alc., 1,212 cases, $65. Released February 2015. Primarily Old Wente with some Robert Young field selections planted in 1991 and 1997. Harvest Brix 22.9º average. Whole cluster pressed, native yeast fermentation, full native malolactic fermentation in barrel with sur lies batonnâge. Aged 18 months in ! new Francois Frères French oak barrels. Fined and bottled unfiltered. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. A superb wine with bright aromas of lemon, grilled peach, brioche, and steely resolve. Intensely flavored, yet crisp and lively on the palate, with tastes of lemon, pineapple, peach, vanilla, caramel and spice. Beautifully composed and balanced, and a delight to drink. Hyde fruit is pretty much a guarantee of stunning Chardonnay. Score: 94. Reviewed July 13, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 Ramey Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $74. Very limited, not offered for sale on website. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is flush with aromas of rose petal, forest floor, conifer and dried herbs. Full-bodied flavors of ripe black cherry and black raspberry with a savory herbal thread in the background. A bit daunting at present with a finish that has a good cut of acidity and length, but is dry and taut with overwhelmingly astringent tannins. Probably best to cellar this wine to see if the tannins ameliorate or match the wine with hearty protein dishes if opened now. Score: 88. Reviewed March 16, 2015 ARTICLE »