“Coming from special vineyard sites, our Chardonnays show great depth of flavor, length of finish, aromatic complexity, and a fine balance between richness and delicacy. Typically, the climate is cool and the soil vigor low, producing graceful yet vibrant wines.” – David Ramey
David Ramey is one of the true aces of winemaking in California. While he had an established track record at Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill and Dominus, we first got to know him well during his stint at Oakville’s Rudd Estate, where he helped take the project into the stratosphere with his work in the vineyard and cellar. In 1996, he and his wife Carla launched Ramey Wine Cellars, which has since become phenomenally successful on the strength of David’s rare winemaking skill. Ramey is a classicist and a Burgundian at heart; his wines are pure, frank, and unmanipulated. The Chardonnays go straight from the press to the barrel, and undergo malolactic fermentation and lees-stirring in barrel. The quality here is first-rate, and will appeal to lovers of great French wines.
A finished tank sample, the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is made using about 25% whole-cluster fermentation—the first time, David Ramey says, that they've experimented with whole cluster. Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, it has a gregarious, youthful nose with tangerine peel, soft baking spices, forest floor and a wicked vein of floral nuance with warm red and black fruits at the core. The palate gives good concentration of spicy fruit, with grainy tannins and juicy acidity, finishing long and spicy.