Ramey

A Balanced Approach to Wine – and to Life


If there has been a movement in California away from buttery, tropical-sweet Chardonnay and over-ripe, high-octane  Cabernet, surely one of the leaders is David Ramey. Located in picturesque Healdsburg, Ramey Cellars is a craft-winery that produces startlingly fresh and balanced Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Many of Ramey’s wines express the terroir of single vineyards while others are specific to such appellations as the Sonoma Coast or Russian River Valley. With his master’s degree in enology from UC Davis, one might have expected Ramey’s wines to be faultless and squeeky-clean; however, an early internship at Chateau Petrus imbued him with the belief that wines should be restrained, balanced and crafted to accompany food. This combination of the empirical and the romantic (along with almost 20 years of experience at such wineries as Simi, Matanzas Creek and Dominus) has led him to experiment with indigenous yeasts and malolactic and barrel fermentation in search of a new California style. This style seeks to tame the naturally luscious and vivacious fruit of California with the traditional techniques of the Old World. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, novelist (and wine geek) Jay McInerny has described “his Chardonnays just a little more voluptuous than the average Puligny-Montrachet, his cabs less tannic than the typical Médoc.”

Wines from this Winery

2014 Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay (375ml)

2014 Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay (375ml)

While Chardonnay is a grape known for neutral flavors, it can express subtle variations in soil, elevation and micro-climate. Sourced from over 10 illustrative vineyards, including Dutton Ranch, Martinelli, and Rochioli, Ramey’s 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay is silky smooth, creamy and rich. Fresh acidity adds suppleness to the pear, apricot and vanilla flavors, making it an excellent wine to partner with a fine meal. As an appellation series wine, David Ramey might say this Chardonnay is less concentrated and needs less time to open than the single vineyard wines, but it is made with the same attention to detail. Native yeast fermentation, malolactic fermentation in barrel, and bottling without filtration helped produce this gorgeous expression of the Russian River Valley.

Details
¥ 3,700
2014 Ramey

2014 Ramey "Claret" Napa Valley (375ml)

A Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (63%), Merlot (24%) and a smattering of Malbec (7%), and Syrah (3%), Ramey’s 2014 Claret is rich, round and well-balanced, a fine wine that will deliver pleasure whether young or cellared. Sourced from a range of vineyard sites up and down the Napa Valley, the wine offers an aromatic melange of fruit, spice and mineral, a luscious mouthfeel and dark fruit flavors that evolve long into the finish. 2014 was yet one more in a string of excellent Napa Valley vintages. The affordable price makes it easy to open a bottle of this Claret now and see for yourself! This wine will pair well with roast leg of lamb or beef stroganoff and mushrooms over fresh fettuccine.

Details
¥ 3,900
2014 Ramey Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

2014 Ramey Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Like Ramey’s single-vineyard wines, the appellation wines are crafted to express the terroir of unique vineyard sites. The difference? Less new oak and less time in barrel. This crisp but luscious  Chardonnay is sourced 69% from the Martinelli-Charles Ranch and 31% from the Platt Vineyard. Just a few kilometers in from the ocean, the vineyards feature cool climates, low vigor soils and clones that tend to produce small bunches of tiny berries. In these conditions, yields are low, and the grapes develop a range of flavors, minerality and naturally high acidity. 2014 saw another classic vintage of consistently moderate temperatures that promoted even ripening and plenty of hang time. The wine intrigues with intense Chardonnay character - ripe pear, melon and a hint of pineapple - bright flavors, a rich texture, and a touch of oak in the finish.

Details
¥ 6,500
2014 Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay

2014 Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay

While Chardonnay is a grape known for neutral flavors, it can express subtle variations in soil, elevation and micro-climate. Sourced from over 10 illustrative vineyards, including Dutton Ranch, Martinelli, and Rochioli, Ramey’s 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay is silky smooth, creamy and rich. Fresh acidity adds suppleness to the pear, apricot and vanilla flavors, making it an excellent wine to partner with a fine meal. As an appellation series wine, David Ramey might say this Chardonnay is less concentrated and needs less time to open than the single vineyard wines, but it is made with the same attention to detail. Native yeast fermentation, malolactic fermentation in barrel, and bottling without filtration helped produce this gorgeous expression of the Russian River Valley. 

Details
¥ 6,500
2014 Ramey Sonoma Coast Syrah

2014 Ramey Sonoma Coast Syrah

Ramey’s Syrah has much in common with the distinctive reds of the Northern Rhone. The cooler climate of the Sonoma Coast produces a Syrah that’s bright, fresh and elegant. And like, say, a wine from Hermitage or Cornas, this dark red dazzles with a heady mix of red fruit and earthy, herbal and olive notes. In 2014, fruit was sourced from four vineyards in the vicinity of Healdsburg and Sonoma Mountain. The 2014 vintage in Sonoma was excellent; while dry, consistent temperatures led to even ripening and decent “hangtime.”  As small amounts of Viognier are planted  in the Syrah vineyards, the two varieties are co-fermented, giving the nose a distinctive floral lift.

Details
¥ 6,900
2014 Ramey

2014 Ramey "Claret" Napa Valley

A Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (63%), Merlot (24%) and a smattering of Malbec (7%), and Syrah (3%), Ramey’s 2014 Claret is rich, round and well-balanced, a fine wine that will deliver pleasure whether young or cellared. Sourced from a range of vineyard sites up and down the Napa Valley, the wine offers an aromatic melange of fruit, spice and mineral, a luscious mouthfeel and dark fruit flavors that evolve long into the finish. 2014 was yet one more in a string of excellent Napa Valley vintages. The affordable price makes it easy to open a bottle of this Claret now and see for yourself! This wine will pair well with roast leg of lamb or beef stroganoff and mushrooms over fresh fettuccine.  

Details
¥ 6,900
2011 Ramey Platt Vineyard Chardonnay

2011 Ramey Platt Vineyard Chardonnay

The coolest vineyard site in Ramey’s portfolio, the Platt Vineyard ripens around two weeks later than the Russian River sites. And though yields are miniscule (just one ton per acre in 2011), the fruit stands out for its acidity, minerality and precise focus. For a winemaker intent on a more aromatic and lively style of Chardonnay, the cold summer of 2011 was more an opportunity than a curse, even though the harvest on October 15 was a race against the rain. When you combine great fruit with Ramey's craft and vision, the result is outstanding. The Platt Chardonnay is an exquisite, stunning wine that pleases with intense fresh flavor and aroma, balance and minerality. Still youthful, decanting might allow the wine to open up more quickly.

Details
¥ 10,300
2013 Ramey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Ramey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

A true expression of the Napa Valley, this wine combines the fruit of  St. Helena, Napa Valley, Oak Knoll, Napa-Carneros, Mt. Veeder, Diamond Mountain, and Oakville - i.e. some of the best hillside and valley floor sites the AVA has to offer – in what might be the very best in a string of superb vintages. Unlike Ramey’s Claret, this wine has enough (80%) Cabernet to be labeled as a varietal wine while remaining true to the Bordelaise tradition of adding Merlot (11%), Malbec (6%) and Petit Verdot (3%) to the blend. It also aged longer and in a higher percentage of new oak barrels.  While the fruit is naturally flavorful and voluptuous, as the wine opens up, it reveals layers of dark fruit, spice and earthy notes. This wine can be enjoyed now or savored over the next ten years. Suggested pairings might include steak au poivre, lamb ragout with roasted peppers, or, for vegetarians, baked eggplant with mushrooms and tomato sauce.

Details
¥ 10,500
2013 Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay

2013 Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay

In the cool Russian River Valley, grapes ripen a good 10 to 14 days later than in Carneros. Planted in 1972, the gnarled vines in the Ritchie Vineyard don’t yield many clusters of grapes; nevertheless, this fruit is always excellent, due to the combination of sandy, benchland soil, cool microclimate and attentive farming. The Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay is consistently outstanding, a multidimensional wine that enchants with intense fruit and spice, mineral elegance, a rich texture and gorgeous balance. 2013 saw yet another exceptional vintage in which moderate temperatures led to a long growing season. David Ramey feels that the Ritchie Chardonnay, "walks the fine line between richness and delicacy. It has a great mouthfeel that balances power and elegance."

Details
¥ 10,900
2012 Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay

2012 Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay

Ramey's Carneros Chardonnays are a little rounder and broader than those from Sonoma. The Hyde Vineyard Chardonnays often seem charming and feminine but not at all simple in the way they combine fruit and texture into a stunning package. The complexity of this Chardonnay derives from the vines that range in age from 11 - 30 years old as well as in clonal diversity. The Wente clone in particular produces Chardonnay that is more Burgundian in character in that it lacks the tropical fruit tones of some California Chardonnays. 2012 was a vintage as close to ideal as possible. Moderate temperatures throughout the spring and summer engendered a long growing season. You can’t avoid being seduced by its voluptuous texture, opulent fruit, steely minerality and racey acidity. 

Details
¥ 10,900
2007 Ramey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Ramey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Fans of Ramey’s red wines will not want to pass on this Cab! After nearly ten years of bottle ageing, the wine is mature, the oak well-integrated and the bouquet of tertiary aromas adding complexity to the experience. Additionally, 37% of the blend came from David Ramey’s last harvest from the historic Larkmead Vineyard, which had previously been designated for single vineyard bottling. No wonder it tastes so good and received such rave reviews! Whereas on release, the wine was noted for its dense purple color, it is now dark red and opens into a lovely potpourri of black currant, cassis, anise, toasty spices and earthy notes. This mellow fellow will bring comfort and joy to holiday season dinner tables. 

Details
¥ 12,400
2010 Ramey Pedregal Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 Ramey Pedregal Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

In Spanish, a Pedregal is a “rocky place,” and this vineyard, located in the lower hills to the east of Oakville, is one of rocky outcrops and red, iron-rich soils that routinely produce wine with intense flavors and extraordinary texture. Because the site produces such outstanding Cabernet, Ramey Cellars has a long-term lease that gives them complete control of the farming, which they carry out organically and sustainably. The biggest problem with 2010 Pedregal is that there is so little of it. An inopportune spring frost so damaged the young shoots that only 242 cases of this gorgeous wine were produced. The lucky ones will be treated to an experience worth remembering. 

Details
¥ 30,000