Ramey Napa Valley Claret 2006
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Our entry-level Cabernet blend, this vintage is composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec, 4% Merlot, 3% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot (You may know that before France started their AOC (appellation) system in the 1930's it was common, during the 1800's, to import Syrah from Hermitage to blend with the wines of Bordeaux. These hermitage' wines often fetched higher prices in the English market than those which had not been "improved.") This soft, easy-drinking wine is a good introduction to the vintage, and while it will improve over the course of two to five years, it is not a wine intended for long-term aging.
Wine & Spirits - "Mostly cabernet sauvignon, with small amounts of other Bordeaux varieties and 3 percent syrah, this blend is designed for ready enjoyment. At our tasting, however, it was tighter than that would imply, firm and gripping with blackberry and eucalyptus scents over earthy, lean tannin. Panelist Gilian Handelman commented, "You could put this wine down and it wouldn't be teriyaki when you opened it.""
Wine Spectator - "Top Value. Offers aromas of ripe plum and berry, with spice and sage. Though firm and full-bodied, this reveals a sense of elegance and finesse, ending with integrated tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2010 through 2016."
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-red. Spicy red- and blackcurrant aromas are complemented by cocoa and smoky minerals. Medium-weight red fruit flavors show good concentration, with velvety tannins framing the wine. The spicy note repeats on the suave, seamless finish. Ramey calls this his roasted chicken wine. "
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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 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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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
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