I first encountered Ramey wines at the Family Winemakers Tasting event at Fort Mason in San Francisco. I wandered over to their table, knowing nothing about their wines, and tasted perhaps one of the finest Cabernets I have ever tasted in my life, their 2001 Jericho Canyon. If I was smart, and trusted my palate more, I would have bought every last bottle I could from them right then and there. But alas, I did not, and two weeks later Robert Parker gave it a 97, and it doubled in price and disappeared from the market. He and I only agree about half the time, but in this case it was a no brainer.
But this note is about another wine, one that at the time was eclipsed by the Jericho Canyon, and not thought about until I saw the Claret on a menu the other night and decided to get a bottle. On its own, with some good food, I got to re-evaluate it, and it is a wonderful wine in its own right, and worth drinking over dinner and even cellaring for the future.
I love claret wines for their gorgeous color and their balanced fusion of fruit and oak. The Ramey is no exception to this -- it swirls in the glass with a deep ruby hue, and has a nose that blossoms with cherries, red licorice, and hints of coffee. The body of the wine is supple and full of ripe fruit, with a slightly hot finish that has a bit of oak in it. Stephen Tanzer calls it inelegant, and while I disagree, I do think that it doesn't fully express the potential that it has. The wine will cellar well (5+ years) and it will be interesting to see how it fares with some time in the bottle.
I know you're supposed to have Sauternes with foies gras, but I've always preferred to eat it with red wine. Give me a nice (big) piece of grilled fois gras with a balsamic fig sauce and this wine and I'd be a happy man.
Overall Score: 8.5
How much?: $39
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
How to Help Lake County After the Fire Wine and Words in Three Volumes I'll Drink to That: Robert Bohr of Charlie Bird Vinography Images: Over a Barrel Warm Up: Sicilian Wine I'll Drink to That: Salvatore Geraci of Palari Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 27, 2015 Wine News: What I'm reading the Week of 9/27 The Lodi Zinfandel Revolution Continues I'll Drink to That: Master Sommelier Guy Stout
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune