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.
"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."
"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."
International Wine Cellar
"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."
The Wine Advocate
"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."