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Ramey Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2008

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This vintage marks a turning point for our Sonoma Coast bottling, as it is the first vintage to be dominated by the Martinelli Charles Ranch on Bohan Dillon Road. Planted in 1980, this is one of the most spectacular vineyards in Sonoma County. This vintage also marks what could be the final inclusion of the Platt Vineyard, as in 2009 the vines have matured enough to merit their own vineyard-designated bottling. A small bit of the Sonoma Stage Vineyard rounds out the blend. 65% Martinelli Charles Ranch, 22% Platt, 13% Sonoma Stage.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even better is the 2008 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, which offers up notes of crushed rocks, waxy brioche, white peaches, white currants and buttered citrus. This fresh, medium-bodied wine possesses both flavor authority and finesse. It, too, can be drunk over the next 2-3 years.
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Ramey
Ramey, , California
Ramey
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.

Santa Maria Valley

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A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely east to west starting near the coast, allowing Pacific Ocean air to funnel through and cool the vineyards. This allows grapes to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, this creates an ideal environment for grape growing.

Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has proven quite successful in the region as well. Many vineyards here are owned by growers who sell their grapes to wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottle from different wineries. Bien Nacido is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

PBC9118718_2008 Item# 111160

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