Ramey Russian River Pinot Noir 2016
This Ramey Russian River Valley Pinot Noir strikes a fine balance between rich, unctuous styles and leaner, coastal styles. It is at once both elegant and delicious.
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Moving to the reds, the 2016 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley offers a light ruby/purple color as well as complex notes of kirsch, black raspberries, garrigue, and spice. Ramey has started using a touch of whole cluster and this was 75% destemmed, with that touch of stems adding a certain complexity and attractive herbal note. Medium to full-bodied, balanced, and elegant on the palate, it will keep for a 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, Claire and Alan Ramey, work at the winery as well. They have been training under their father and working in various roles across the winery, from vineyards to production to winemaking and more. Over the years, a team of highly talented colleagues have joined the winery where they continually push to make the best wines possible. Ramey Wine Cellars crafts exceptional expressions of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Pinot Noir from top vineyards in Sonoma and Napa. Tastings are offered by appointment in Healdsburg, California.
While the Russian River Valley is a large appellation with multiple climate zones and soil types, it is best known for cool-climate varieties, with Pinot Noir as the most celebrated. The grapes benefit from a reliable late afternoon flow of Pacific Ocean fog through the Petaluma Gap and along the Russian River Valley that ensures slow and steady ripening and the preservation of grape acidity. Today many of California’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards are in the Russian River Valley, along with its sub-appellation, Green Valley.
Historically Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs had bright red fruit and delicate earthy, mineral notes. But changes in viticultural and winemaking practices have led to stylistic changes in some of the region’s wines. Adjustments to canopy management, among other techniques, have resulted in riper fruit and bolder wines as well. These show flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cola, spice and darker, loamy earth tones, accenting traditional Pinot Noir notes of strawberry, raspberry and light cherry.