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 fermentations; 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.
Wine Advocate #210 Dec 2013 Robert M. Parker, Jr. 93 The 2011 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard reveals slightly higher acids along with more concentrated tropical fruit notes such as pineapple and tangerine, medium body, excellent purity, and surprising length and richness for a 2011. It, too, should be drunk over the next 3-4 years.
David Ramey has long had one of the most impressive resumes for any California winemaker. He worked at Chateau Petrus in Bordeaux and for Christian Moueix at Dominus. He also consulted and worked for a number of high end Napa Valley wineries. Of course, his first love is Ramey Wine Cellars, and he has built an extensive empire of Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons and more recently Syrahs as well as a tiny quantity of Pinot Noir (talk about going to the dark side). I tasted through his 2011 Chardonnays, which are successful in this challenging vintage. The generic Chardonnays spend 12 months in 25% new oak and the single vineyard cuvees spend 20 or more months in 50% new oak. All of the whites are fermented with indigenous yeasts. Ramey has also done a terrific job with Syrah, even though he says it is nearly impossible to sell in today’s marketplace. Ramey has actually reduced the price on his two fabulous 2010 Syrahs, and it is difficult for somebody like me who loves Syrah and knows how great they can be to understand how these wines can be such a challenge in the marketplace. Ramey’s early experience was primarily with Bordeaux varietals, so it’s not surprising that he continues to do a stunning job with his assortment of Bordeaux-based wines. As one might expect, the 2011s are soft, easy-to-drink efforts that many consumers may find more appealing than the 2010s, which are much bigger, richer and more classic.
JS: James Suckling
BV: Bidvino Staff
RP: Robert Parker
WS: Wine Spectator
JH: James Halliday
JR: Jancis Robinson
WE: Wine Enthusiast
DM: Decanter Magazine
JD: Jeb Dunnuck
2011 Ramey Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard
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