Ramey Larkmead Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Our second release from this historic vineyard on Larkmead Lane surrounding the former Hans Kornell Winery—which in turn enclosed the historic Larkmead Winery. That winery dated from the 1880's, when it was owned by Lillie Hitchcock Coit of Coit Tower fame. Located on the valley floor, we surmise that Ritchie Creek, separating the Spring Mountain and Diamond Mountain appellations, once ran through this site, resulting in the prominent gravel and excellent drainage which distinguishes this vineyard. I had worked with some parcels from Larkmead while I was with Rudd, so I knew its potential for quality. This vintage is blended of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec.
International Wine Cellar - "Dark purple. Remarkably spicy and vibrant on the nose, with powerful cassis, kirsch, espresso and rose pastille aromas and a subtle iron note. Intense red and dark fruit flavors are powered by vibrant minerality and framed by fine but solid tannins. Exotic spice notes come up on the long, stunningly sweet finish. "These vines are just coming into their majority," Ramey said."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Larkmead Vineyard (1,360 cases produced from a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, and 9% Merlot) possesses abundant amounts of crème de cassis, graphite, cedar, roasted herbs, and spice. This is an attractive Cabernet that should drink well for 15-20 years."
Following winemaking posts at Rudd, Dominus, Chalk Hill and Matanzas Creek, David Ramey and his wife, Carla began their own label in 1996 - a Chardonnay from the Hyde Vineyard. Now situated in downtown Healdsburg, Ramey Wine Cellars draws on exceptional vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma to fashion classically-styled Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay using traditional old world techniques. View all Ramey Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.