Ramey Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
Chardonnay from Carneros, California
Coming from special vineyard sites, these wines show great depth of flavor, length of finish, aromatic complexity, and a fine balance between richness and delicacy. Typically, the climate is cool, the soil vigor low, and the vine clone, or selection, one with small berries, small clusters and inherently low yields.
Also north of the Carneros Highway, but further west, the terrain here is more rolling than that of Hyde, the soil lighter and more friable. Blocks and selections include E-block (Wente), planted in 1984 (and unfortunately, the final year for this block, which is being replanted); B-block, a younger planting of Wente selected from Larry Hyde's vineyard; and L-block, a Robert Young selection (originally Wente) planted in 1989. Hudson Vineyard wines tend to a more muscular, masculine character—broad-shouldered, if you will.
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Ramey's Hudson Vineyard bottling wins top honors among the winery's three new single-site offerings by virtue of its perfect marriage of richness, refinement and balance. It leads with lots of optimally ripened appley fruit while showing a good bit of sweet oak and top-notes of flowers and spice. Always intense, yet never out of control, it is at once both rich and extracted yet also light on its feet. It delivers plenty to like now, but it has the kind of structure and depth that guarantee even better things to come a few years hence. "
The Wine Advocate - "Offering copious amounts of orange marmalade, smoky hazelnuts, and tropical fruits, the full-bodied, rich 2005 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard is on a faster evolutionary track than the Hyde Vineyard. Drink the Hudson cuvee over the next 2-3 years "
International Wine Cellar - "Green-tinged gold. Ripe orange, pear and honeydew on the nose, with iodine and anise adding complexity. Deep and creamy, offering concentrated orchard and pit fruit flavors and bracing minerality. Becomes spicier on the long, vibrant finish. This is strikingly pure and persistent. "
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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 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 & 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.