Wine Enthusiast 98
"This is an outstanding vintage from this stellar site. It's been a vineyard-designate for Ramey since 2002, the block planted to a portion of Musqué. Tangerine, grapefruit and wet stone underscore the sharp acidity and enduring freshness—the wine sleek and fine-tuned. Orange and apple-blossom aromas jump from the glass and contribute to its gorgeous appeal."
"We gently press whole clusters for phenolic delicacy. Native yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. After aging 20 months in 20% new François Freres & Taransaud Beaune French oak barrels, the Chardonnay was traditionally fined for clarity and texture and bottled without filtration."
Sourced from Ritchie vineyard in the Russian River Valley
The block Ramey sources from Kent Ritchie’s vineyard was planted in 1972
Ritchie vineyard is widely spaced, as was the fashion in the early ’70s, and has large trunks that produce small slusters
Planted in gravelly, sandy Goldridge Loam over volcanic Tufa rock
Old Wente selection
Whole cluster pressed for phenolic delicacy
Native yeast and full native malolactic fermentation in barrel
Aged for 20 months in 25% new French oak barrels and settled in tank
767 cases produced
Ramey Wine Cellars was founded in 1996 by David Ramey and his wife Carla. After sixteen years making wine in Sonoma County, and firmly establishing Matanzas Creek and Chalk Hill wineries in the marketplace, David crossed the Mayacamas to spend six years in the Napa Valley–first as winemaker for Dominus Estate and project manager for the construction of their new winery; then helping Leslie Rudd reshape the Girard Winery into Rudd Oakville.
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 oxidized juice in making white wine; sur lie aging 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.
In addition to managing Ramey Wine Cellars, David enjoys consulting for a select handful of clients in the North Coast.
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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