2014 Template, Napa Valley
“The 2014 Template is one of David Ramey’s occasional one-offs. This Right Bank-inspired Merlot-based blend is dark, sumptuous and deeply expressive. Silky tannins wrap around a core of dark raspberry jam, savory herbs, licorice and new leather, with lifted, floral overtones that develop later. Racy yet nuanced, the Template is another 2014 that is shaping up to have a bright future.” – 91-94pts, Antonio Galloni, vinous, February 2016
2014 was another classic vintage, despite the third consecutive year of drought. A mild winter and spring triggered early bud break, while much-needed late spring rain alleviated water stress on the vines through summer. Summer temperatures were warm and steady, balanced by particularly cool mornings, which permitted even fruit development. Cooler weather in August further lengthened hang time, resulting in perfectly matured fruit with moderate sugar levels.
Our 2014 Template rested on its lees for 18 months in new French oak barrels (Taransaud) with bi-monthly bâtonnage to coat the tannins and smoothly integrate the wood. The wine was then lightly fined with egg whites and bottled without filtration in July, 2016.
This is our tribute to the Right Bank model of Pomerol and St-Emilion. Having worked two vintages there, this rings very familiar. Hillside Merlot and Cabernet Franc combine for a plush yet structured California version.