Buena Vista Pinot Noir Ramal Vineyard Estate 2005
Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
As they celebrate their 150th year as California's first premium winery, the focus of Buena Vista Carneros continues to be their remarkable 1000-acre Estate vineyard in the heart of Carneros. Set along a south-facing hillside overlooking the San Pablo Bay, this breathtaking property has more than 167 blocks delineated by geology and topography. Produced in limited quantities, each EVS wine reflects the complex interplay between grape, terroir and the seasonal weather patterns of vintage.
The 2005 growing season started with a wet spring followed by a cool summer, leading to a long, dry, and cooler than normal fall. Conditions on the estate where Buena Vista grows theirr Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were ideal for producing a healthy balanced crop. Harvest was long, requiring a lot of patience, as they waited for their fruit to ripen to optimal maturity. The quality of the Pinot Noir was very good to outstanding.
The pedigree of the site and quality of the vintage are clearly in evidence here. The color is deep purple with aromas of blueberry, violet, chocolate, clove and anise, subtle earth and forest floor. The flavors of rich raspberry, crème de cassis, plum and candied ginger lead into a long finish with bright acidity and silky tannins. The 2005 Ramal Vineyard Pinot Noir shows concentration, elegance and the subtle nuance of diverse clonal and site selection. Pair this rich Pinot Noir with beef tenderloin and sautéed spinach.
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Still developing aromas of ripe red cherries with a dollop of black fruit concentration combine a certain youthful tightness with solid varietal focus, and that same promise of true Pinot Noir beauty shows again in the wine's mid-volume, firm and tasty flavors. A bit of cellar aging is going to allow this wine to outlast its slight vintage-dictated reluctance and to emerge with wholly on-point character and charm."
Buena Vista Winery
Founded in 1857 as California's first premium winery, Buena Vista, under the direction of winemaker Jeff Stewart, is a leader in cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. Straddling Sonoma County in the southern end of the Carneros appellation, the 523-acre Ramal Vineyard Estate is broken up into 167 small blocks, with 21 different clones of Chardonnay and 13 different clones of Pinot Noir, and is set along rolling south-facing hillsides overlooking the San Pablo Bay. The Ramal Vineyard is the crown jewel of all Carneros.
Most winemakers will agree that cool-climate wines like Pinot Noir are the most difficult to produce. And most will agree that Jeff Stewart does so with unparalleled success. Jeff comes to Buena Vista with over 15 years of achievement in cool-climate viticulture and his focus on gentle handling of the grapes and temperature moderation produces wines with complexity, character and depth. View all Buena Vista Winery Wines
About CarnerosView a map of Carneros wineries
Technically a part of Napa Valley, the Carneros region straddles both Sonoma & Napa counties. It's the Napa region closest to the San Francisco peninsula and the San Pablo Bay, which is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo bay create a cool weather pattern ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Notable FactsBoth Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Carneros are delicate, yet complex, with firm structure and acidity. And while the pair are the most popular varieties of the region, some winemakers have branched out, particularly with Syrah. The cool climate Syrah of Carneros is well structured and stylistically similar to Syrah from the Northern Rhone, though often fuller-bodied.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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