Ramey Wine Cellars recently hosted me and my friends Amber & David, @winetraveleats Allison Levine, @plsthepalate, and my new friend Erin Hunt Moore @erinelisa. Over the past couple of days, I have been listening to my recording of the tasting, and it brought me right back into the tasting room.
Ramey is family-owned and operated. And will remain so as Alan and Claire take over for their father, who will retire on June 30th.
It was such an enormous treat tasting 5 of the current 2018 Single Vineyard Chardonnay releases along with their 2017 RRV Pinot Noir, the 2015 Rodgers Creek Vineyard Syrah, the 2015 Annum Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2011 Annum Cabernet Sauvignon.
We tasted nine wines. In each and every wine, they are refined and delicate yet full of sunshine and pleasure. The balance is as precise and graceful as Olympic champion Simone Biles. The acidity, the structure, the texture, the depth, the aromas, and the flavors all come together like a harmonic symphony. While I am known to embellish, this is not one of those times.
Ramey Does Chardonnay!
As a relatively “new” drinker of Chardonnay, I was completely overwhelmed by these first five wines. On the recording, you could hear my reactions as I tasted. And my reactions were not words but primal sounds of joy and happiness. As I listened, I closed my eyes to remember me looking at Claire Ramey, who was sitting next to me, as I looked for words. Words did not formalize, just sounds. And I think those sounds make Claire laugh…
Each of the single-vineyard Chardonnays spends 18 Months in barrel sur lie with bâtonnage. (That sounds so much better than “stirring the dying yeast”). Each one also goes thru full malolactic fermentation. And before you think “butter bomb,” you would be dead wrong. Dead, dead wrong, so just stop right there. But, these folks do it right.
My ranking of the five Chardonnays is the 2018 Rochioli Vineyard RRV Chardonnay with stunning acidity, ever so lightly oaked, a flinty minerality along with orchard aromas and flavors, and a lingering joyful finish. The slightly more fruity 2018 Westside Farms and the flamboyant and flirty Richie Vineyard tie for second. The austere Woolsey Rd Vineyard and the big aroma’ed Hyde Vineyard tie for third. However, these last two are destined for a rise in the ranking as they spend more time in the bottle.
Ramey Makes Stunning Red Wine too!
As if tasting five Chardonnays was not enough, we then hit the four red wines. Sorry, “hit” is such the wrong word; we sipped and savored. Although being brutally honest, I was not as diligent in my recording or my notes with the red wines, so I promise to get these wines again and really dig into them.
Ramey makes just one Pinot Noir, and it’s from RRV. We tasted the 2017 vintage. As a long-time Pinot Noir fan, I immediately fell in love. The 2015 Rodgers Creek Syrah is elegant and so refined. Each sip made me love it more and more. Love. More Love. Most Love. The 2015 & 2011 Annum Cabernet Sauvignons deserved their own tasting and not after seven other wines. Delicious… absolutely, best barrels, absolutely. I will see you again, Ramey Cabs. Well, actually, most of these wines will see me again. And again.
This was a fantastic experience. I currently have a local wine shop looking for some of these wines so that we can purchase them. I am making room in the wine fridge right now.
Where to Find Ramey Wine
Distributed throughout the USA, Ramey Wine Cellars wines are in the best independent wine shops and restaurants. You can also order online.
That is all for now.
Rick & Gary