Ramey Napa Valley Claret 2016
This soft, easy-drinking Cabernet is a good introduction to the vintage, and while it will improve over the course of three to eight years, it is not a wine intended for long-term cellaring
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The 2016 Claret is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Malbec, 8% Syrah and 2% Petit Verdot. Medium to deep ruby-purple, it offers aromas of bay leaf, sage brush, cardamom, anise and clove with mint chocolate, underbrush, blackberries and blackcurrants. It's medium to full-bodied, rounded and easygoing in the mouth, with gentle, grainy tannins and great freshness to lift the finish. It would be all too easy to glug a bottle of this “luncheon Cab,” as David Ramey calls it. 4,927 cases produced.
The 2016 Claret is a pretty, elegant blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Malbec, and the rest Syrah and Petit Verdot. This medium-bodied, silky, nicely textured red offers notes of ripe black cherries, currants, and assorted tobacco and herbal notes, and it’s textured and balanced. Drink it over the coming decade.
David Ramey is among a distinguished group of pioneering American vintners who revolutionized modern-day winemaking and elevated California to the forefront of the international wine community. Hailed as “Professor Chardonnay” by Wine Spectator, David’s groundbreaking work with indigenous yeasts, sur lies aging and malolactic and barrel fermentation yielded a new California Chardonnay style that was richer, more lush and silky smooth. Ramey Wine Cellars crafts exceptional expressions of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Pinot Noir from top vineyards in Sonoma and Napa.
After earning a graduate degree at UC Davis, with his thesis on how aromas evolve in wine, David Ramey pursued a hands-on education in Old World winemaking traditions. He worked at Chateau Pétrus and would later apply these time-honored methods to California’s premier vineyards. In California, David led winemaking for Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill, Dominus Estate and Rudd Estate. In 1996, David and his wife Carla founded Ramey Wine Cellars with the vision of crafting classically styled, elegant and balanced wines that age beautifully.
Still exclusively owned by the Rameys, the next generation is now working in the family business. Claire Ramey works with her father in pre-production and Alan Ramey leads marketing efforts. Tastings are offered by appointment in Healdsburg, California.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.