SONOMA - USA
“In my mind, Ramey is one of the top wineries in the United States.” - Antonio Galloni
“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. 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 and Claret deliver serious quality for the money.”
Over the years, David has helped pioneer traditional, artisan winemaking techniques in California during a period when making wine by the University book was the norm. His efforts have helped shape the way many wines in the United States are made today, including the elimination of skin contact for most white grapes; the use of oxidised juice in making white wine; sur lie ageing of white wines in barrel; malolactic fermentation of Chardonnay; native yeast fermentation; harvesting fully mature fruit; eliminating acidification of red wines, and bottling without filtration.
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.
“Year after year the wines from Ramey Wine Cellars are nothing short of spectacular. Their dedication to creating high quality, handcrafted wines with balance and richness from the area’s finest vineyards has certainly paid off.” - International Wine Report
2015 Ramey Annum Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
95 points, Wine Advocate