Wine Advocate 94
"From Mokelumne River in Lodi and made of 100% Zinfandel, the barrel sample of 2018 Zinfandel has a nose of spiced black cherry, blueberry jam and potpourri with herbal and earth touches and peachy undertones. Medium to full-bodied, it offers great intensity of blue fruits in the mouth, with grainy framing tannins and great juicy acidity, finishing long with fruity and spicy layers. 1,120 cases are expected to be made."
Wine Enthusiast 91
"This smoky, spicy wine wraps potent blackberry flavors in black pepper, beef and wood smoke for a dark and delicious effect. It is full-bodied, moderately tannic and nicely concentrated."
2018 began with another very early bloom, leading to a very early harvest in Sonoma County; our first fruit arrived August 5. During maturation, summer temperatures were warm and steady, with fewer heat spikes than 2015. Three weeks of cool weather in August and September relaxed the pace of harvest, allowing for methodical picking decisions and perfectly developed fruit. Yields were relatively average down from 2014 and up from 2015.
A unique blend of grape varieties, This wine is 78 Zinfandel, 10 Alicante Bouschet, 10 Petite Sirah and a 2 composite of Sangiovese, Carignane, Trousseau, Petite Bouschet, Syrah, Beclan, Tannat, Peloursin, Graciano, Plavac Mali, Palomino and Monbadon from a heritage vineyard, half planted 125 years ago and the other half 65 years ago. The way the vineyard was planted back in the late 1800s, the various grape varieties are intermixed within the vineyard, so everything is harvested together and co-fermented. The wine was fermented with native yeast and aged sur lie in neutral oak barrels for seven months.
Sidebar means the bar adjacent to the main bar or the sidelight of a main story. It is the B-Side to David Rameys Greatest Hits album. This is a new project from David Ramey & Ramey Wine Cellars focused on fun and diverse grape varieties. Apart from the dedication to deliciousness and quality, sidebar remains distinct from Ramey in its varieties and tempo, to be considered under a different set of values. Sidebar wines are invitingly fresh and satisfying in their youth: brightness is key. These wines also play into David Rameys history with Sauvignon Blanc as the flagship. David made some of the most well-known Sauvignon Blanc in Californias history at Matanzas Creek and Chalk Hill back in the 80s and 90s.
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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