Wine Advocate 92
"The 2017 Claret is a blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 14% Malbec, 12% Petit Verdot, 8% Syrah and 2% Cabernet Franc. It opens with classic scents of chocolate-covered cherries, cedar, bay leaves and tobacco with a very classy frame of sweet spices. In the mouth, it's medium-bodied and plushly fruited with a fine grain and great freshness, finishing long. 4,482 cases produced."
Vinous Media 89
"The 2017 Claret is a supple, fruity wine to drink now and over the next handful of years. Ripe red cherry, red plum, mocha and dried flowers give this juicy Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot-based blend a good deal of complexity. Floral overtones linger nicely on the finish.-- Antonio Gallon"
Jeb Dunnuck 89
"A blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 14% Malbec, and the rest a mix of varieties, the 2017 Claret has a bright, edgy bouquet of blue fruits, graphite, toasted spice, and scorched earth. With lots of minerality, some vanilla oak, firm tannins, and medium to full body, it reminds me of a Cabernet from Ridge's Monte Bello Vineyard. It shows the firmer, more linear style of the vintage, so give bottles a year or two and enjoy over the following 7-8 years or so."
Varietal Compositon: 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 14% Malbec, 12% Petit Verdot, 8% Syrah, and 2% Cabernet Franc
Our Claret follows the Bordelaise model of blending different Bordeaux varietals. Malolactic fermentation is completed in barrel, and the blend is assembled early so it is “elevated” as the finished wine.
The 2017 Claret rested on its lees twelve months in French & American oak barrels, only 24% new, with monthly bâtonnage to coat the tannins, producing a luscious, cushioned mouthfeel. This wine was lightly fined with egg whites and bottled without filtration in February 2019.
2017 began with a very wet winter. The summer was mild until a significant heatwave around Labor Day sent growers scrambling to pick the first wave of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After the heat wave, temperatures were warm and steady, allowing winemakers to make picking decisions based on optimal fruit maturity rather than impending weather. Yields were average to light.
Harvest Dates: September 5 – October 10
Ramey Wine CellarsView all from Ramey Wine Cellars
A select group of winemakers can be credited with revolutionizing modern day winemaking in California. They are the innovators who, some 20 years ago, brought Old World traditions back to a New World that had thrown in its lot with university scientists to make squeaky clean wines largely devoid of character. The goal of these new wave winemakers was to put terroir back into the bottle and create wines of unique distinction.
David Ramey is widely acknowledged to be among the wine pioneers whose efforts helped raise the bar for all American winemakers and brought California to the forefront of the international wine world. David's groundbreaking work with indigenous yeasts and malolactic and barrel fermentation yielded a new California style that was richer, more lush and silky smooth than previously known. As a result, he created a benchmark style now emulated by many.
David Ramey is certainly one of the best known and most highly regarded winemakers in California. David has finally realized his dream of producing wines under his own name and has devoted himself exclusively to this pursuit.
"A multi-tasker, David Ramey's Healdsburg operation garnered lavish reviews for his Cabernet Sauvignons in issue #186. He also demonstrates a Midas touch with Chardonnay, while continuing to fine tune his Syrah portfolio. In addition, Ramey's consulting business appears to be growing by leaps and bounds, and he has been a major factor in turning around the quality of a number of wineries. The 2007 Ramey Chardonnays are all strong efforts, including the three generic offerings from the Sonoma Coast, Russian River, and Carneros, and his single vineyard efforts from the Hudson, Hyde, and Ritchie vineyards." – Robert Parker, February 2010