SONOMA - USA
“David Ramey is one of California’s best and most respected winemakers. In the early 1990s he was the winemaker at Dominus, and then at Rudd. But for over a decade he has run his own winery, sourcing fruit from outstanding vineyards. setting up his own label allowed him to return to his first love: making Chardonnay.” - Stephen Brook
After making wine at Château Pétrus, Dominus, Chalk Hill and Rudd Estate, David Ramey settled into his own brand in 1996 and focused on Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa and Chardonnay from Sonoma. The wines, as he says, are"bold, but in check." They’re intense, vibrant and refined. Chardonnay has long been the apple of Ramey’s eye. He produces six: four vineyard designates plus appellation blends from the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley. The only one from Napa is the Hyde Vineyard Carneros, and it was Larry Hyde who sold David and Carla Ramey their first load of grapes for their new brand nearly 20 years ago. Ritchie and Woolsey Road vineyards are in Russian River Valley, Platt on the Sonoma Coast.
In late 2012, the Ramey's bought Westside Farms in Russian River Valley, near the famous Rochioli Vineyard. It’s their first vineyard acquisition, and grapes from the 17ha of Chardonnay there will go into the bottle with the 2013 vintage. A new winery and tasting room are also planned. Ramey embraces Old-World winemaking techniques and applies them, plus a modern twist or two, to sunny Californian fruit."Kids don’t get trained that way anymore," he laments.
Antonio Galloni -“It's hard to know where to begin with these wines from David Ramey, as there are so many highlights, but one common theme is the quality of the entry-level wines. The appellation-level Chardonnays, Pinot, Syrah and Claret all deliver serious quality for the money. As always, the Chardonnays are made in a rich, Burgundian-leaning style that emphasises relatively long ageing in barrel by California standards. The reds all capture a highly attractive stylistic middle ground that offers plenty of New World, California fruit wedded to an Old World sense of structure.”
Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2014
95 points, Antonio Galloni -“The 2014 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is the most exuberant and layered of David Ramey's Chardonnays. It is also stylistically the wine that is closest in style to past. Rich, sumptuous and layered, the Ritchie expresses intensity in all of its dimensions. Even with all of its richness, the 2014 confers aromatic intensity and freshness. This, too, is very nicely done.”
Ramey Platt Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
96 points, Wine Advocate -“The 2013 Chardonnay Platt Vineyard, under the well-known Sonoma Coast terroir, offers elegant white currant, quince and stony notes with hints of apple blossom, lemon oil and a touch of orange rind. This medium-bodied wine should drink nicely for 3-4 years. Under the Ramey label, David Ramey has always done a top-notch job with Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Syrah, although he rarely gets enough credit for the latter.”