2015 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Meg Houston Maker
February 14, 2018
Ramey’s Russian River Pinot assembles clones and vineyard sites into an elegant, savory expression of the grape. The fruit was tank fermented with ambient cultures, and it aged in used oak for 13 months. It was bottled fined but unfiltered. The robe is a saturated, velvety red shot with ruby glints; limpid, not opaque. The fragrance is a distillation of potpourri and herbs, cranberry, rose hips, wintergreen, and dried orange peel. These notes linger distantly, wreathing the red fruits in a faint sigh. On the palate the wine gets down to earth, mingling the spiciness and depth of the Pommard clone, the earthiness of Swan, and the lilting aromatic accents of Dijon 828. Concentrated and savory, if offers more seriousness and tannic grip than many of its peers, stained with dark fruits and charged with a deep vein of stone and black nut. Pair it with roasts and game, particularly duck, smoked pork shoulder, and roast beef; porcini, truffles, and other earthy mushrooms; and long cave-aged cheeses. It’s one of the best matches I’ve yet to discover with Jasper Hill Farms Harbison.