Medium purple color; blueberry, smokey meat on the nose; plum, blueberry, red and black cherry, peppercorn, chip of dark chocolate on the palate.
Dry; medium-full body; medium, grainy tannins and balancing acidity. Savory, meaty elements throughout. Ripe, concentrated, serious wine with satisfying freshness lifting the overall experience. Nicely long finish.
Blend of 92% syrah and 8% viognier, co-fermented. Fermented as 75% destemmed fruit, 25% whole clusters of syrah. Malolactic fermentation softens things up. Native yeasts. No filtration; 14.5% ABV.
David Ramey is best known as a chardonnay maker the past four decades. He is light on oak to allow more fruit and minerality to show in his chardonnays and with this syrah effort. The wine rested sur lies for a year in French oak, 41% new. The grapes came from Cole Creek Vineyard, Westwood, De La Montanya, and Rodgers Creek Vineyard with an average of 24.5º brix.
In 1999, Christian Moueix at Dominus Winery allowed David and Carla Ramey to “make a little chardonnay on the side.” Ramey Wine Cellars was born. He left Dominus and moved to Rudd Winery in 1998. He started Ramey as independent enterprise in 2002. The Ramey website has timeline with abundant photos and excellent videos that tell the Ramey story.
Ramey Syrah, Sonoma Coast 2016 is made in Northern Rhône style with ripe, vivid, cool climate Sonoma fruit the leading element. Well structured with inviting freshness. Drink now, but could be cellared for a decade or more. Benefits from decanting, certainly at this stage in its bottle life. Pair with meatloaf; barbecued spareribs; fancy burgers; braised beef; barbecued chicken; roast leg of lamb. $39-45