Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
Chardonnay from Carneros, California
Located in gently rolling terrain north of Carneros Highway, the soils are quite heavy clay. Vine selection is Old Wente, Robert Young and Long Vineyards - each a Wente selection themselves-ranging in age from 7 to 26 years old. The Wente is marked by very small grape clusters, with small berries, and the so-called "hen-and-chick"--large and small berries within the same cluster.
The Wente produces a classic, Burgundian-style wine, without the tropical fruit tones of some California Chardonnays. The Long Vineyards selection adds a floral note, and the Hyde Vineyard wines often seem charming and feminine. High natural acidity plays a prominent role.
Wine Spectator - "A lovely integration of seductive smoky vanilla oak with vibrant peach- and pear-laced fruit enlivened by zingy acidity. A full-blown yet elegant and delicious Chardonnay. Drink now through 2011."
International Wine Cellar - "Yellow-gold. Stunningly nuanced aromas of smoky lemon, lime, poached pear, licorice and iodine complicated by dusty talc and white flowers. Impressively chewy and deeply concentrated, offering strong citrus and orchard fruit flavors underscored by smoky minerals and succulent herbs. This extremely complex wine has the concentration and balance to reward patience."
The Wine Advocate - "The three single vineyard Chardonnays are all from top sites, the Hudson and Hyde vineyards in Carneros, and the Russian River's Ritchie Vineyard. My favorite of this trio is the 2006 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard. It reveals gorgeous acidity, more tropical fruit, nectarine, and orange blossom characteristics, a greenish hue to its color (always a good sign), and long, full-bodied flavors."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Something of a cross between the other offerings from Ramey, this well-fruited, fairly juicy effort is a bit more measured than the Ritchie while having a fair bit of the layering of the Hudson. If it falls back at all, it is due to the less forceful nature of its personality, yet to call it anything but deep and brilliantly executed is to take too much away from it. It earns both its own round of applause and place in the cellar."
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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.
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