Ramey Larkmead Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Our third 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 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petite Verdot and 2% Malbec, and was aged eighteen months in sixty percent new French barrels.
International Wine Cellar - "Glass-staining ruby. Deep, youthfully brooding cassis and dark cherry on the nose, with a strong licorice note building in the glass. Sappy black and blue fruit flavors are framed by dusty tannins and energized by a tangy mineral note. The licorice quality repeats on the finish, which is broad, sappy and impressively persistent. For a big boy, this is pretty graceful."
The Wine Advocate - "Although backward, the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Larkmead Vineyard is extremely promising. Its inky/ruby/purple color is followed by a gorgeous perfume of smoke herbs, graphite, crème de cassis, coffee beans, and toasty oak. With sensational fruit on the attack and mid-palate, and a finish filled with power, glycerin, depth, and impressive structure, this 2006 will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age, and should evolve for two decades or more. 92+"
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 & 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.