|Link to this site|
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.
2016 Ramey Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 1,623 cases, $50. Released August 2018. Grapes sourced from De La Montanya and Bucher vineyards. Harvest Brix average 23.9º. Tank fermented with native yeast and native malolactic fermentation in barrel. Aged on the lees with monthly stirring for 14 months in French oak barrels, 49% new. Lightly fined with egg white and bottled without filtration. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of Bing cherry, cardamom spicer, wine cave, smoke and forest floor. Light to mid weight in style, offering a slightly austere core of black cherry fruit backed by oak-inspired tastes of tobacco and smoke. Modest, silky tannins and pleasingly sleek. Score: 89. Reviewed September 28, 2018 ARTICLE »
2015 Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay
14.5% alc., 898 cases, $65. Released August 2018. Old Wente selection. Harvest Brix 23.8º. Gentle whole cluster pressed. Native yeast and full native malolactic fermentations in barrel with lees stirring. Aged 20 months on the lees in French oak barrels, 21% new. Fined and then bottled after settling without filtration. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Mild reduction upon opening, resolving over time as aromas of lemon-lime and a hint of espresso emerge. Impressive citrus high notes with just a hint of caramelized and toasted oak. Only slightly creamy in the mouth with noticeable persistence on the finish. Adept balance between rich fruit and vibrant acidity. When tasted several hours after opening, this wine really knocked my socks off. Score: 95. Reviewed September 28, 2018 ARTICLE »
2015 Ramey Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay
14.5% alc., 747 cases, $65. Released August 2018. A blend of 85% clone 4 (1995) and 76 (1995 and 1998) and 15% from clone 5 (1989) and Allen Vineyard 76 (2001 and 2005). Harvest Brix 23.1º. Gentle whole cluster pressed, native yeast and full native malolactic fermentations in barrel. Aged on the lees with lees stirring 20 months in French oak barrels, 23% new. Fined and then bottled without filtration. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. The wine opens slowly in the glass revealing aromas of lemon pie, toast, gun barrel and slight struck match initially. More fruit-driven when sampled several hours after opening. Creamy in the mouth, with a delicious charge of lemon fruit dressed in toasty oak. Long in the mouth and finish with integrated acidity. Much more alluring several hours after opening, with oak folding into the background and fresh citrus and pear flavors coming to the front. Score: 94. Reviewed September 28, 2018 ARTICLE »
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 »