WINES OF CALIFORNIA: The Comprehensive Guide by Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen

David Ramey is recognized as belonging to a short list of pioneers who helped increase the quality and profile of California wine. After earning a graduate degree in enology from UC Davis, working at the revered Château Pétrus, and being involved in the start-up of wineries such as Chalk Hill, Matanzas Creek, and Dominus, Ramey founded his eponymous winery along with his wife, Carla, in 1996. Using traditional techniques and fruit from throughout Napa and Sonoma, Ramey crafts highly sought after Cabernet blends, Chardonnay, and Syrah. Ramey Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2010, medium straw in color, yields fragrances of tropical fruit, Bosc pear, white peach, and a whisper of ginger liqueur. Flavors of peach, caramelized pineapple, pear compote, Asian spice, and vanilla are at play in a wine that is at once delicate yet expressively complex. Ramey Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast Syrah 2009, a cofermented field blend including 8 percent Viognier, is deep purple violet in the glass, from which it exudes aromas of blueberry, black currants, and freshly ground white pepper. Dense albeit pleasing berry flavors dominate the flavor profile, melding with chocolate-covered espresso bean, smoked pork, and Christmas spice. All in all, it’s a delight to drink now, but those who can wait up to 12 years will be richly rewarded for their patience.

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