Ram’s Gate Sauvignon Blanc, Carneros 2020

Pale gold color; lemon-lime, green apple, grapefruit, white peach, white flowers on the nose; Meyer lemon, green apple, pineapple, white peach on the palate.

Ram’s Gate Sauvignon Blanc, Carneros 2020

Dry; bright acidity; light-medium body that also has a surprising and pleasing roundness. Estate-grown grapes aged five months in 10% new French oak, 10% in stainless steel, 80% in neutral barrels. Wine aged sur-lee for five months for richness and complexity. This vintage marks the first full year of farming under organic principles at Ram’s Gate.

This vintage is the second iteration of an extensive rebranding initiative. New website, logo, packaging. Ram’s Gate is best known for chardonnay and pinot noir, but this is charming, too.

The website notes: “The Ram’s Gate ownership team is led by Managing Owner Michael John, a San Francisco private equity investor and wine collector, with strong ties to the wine industry in addition to being active in environmental improvement efforts; Jeff O’Neill, the owner of O’Neill Vintners and former Chair of the Wine Institute; Paul Violich, a well-known Northern California investor and agri-business leader specializing in walnut and almond plantings; and Peter Mullin, a businessman and passionate wine grower who owns a 15-acre estate in Umbria, Italy, where he grows Sagrantino and Sangiovese grapes. Ram’s Gate Winery is the realization of their shared passion for fine wine and commitment to land stewardship.”

Ram’s Gate founders
Ram’s Gate Managing Director Taylr Behnam Cuneo

Hands-on management is interesting. From the website: “Taylr Behnam Cuneo is Managing Director for Ram’s Gate Winery. While she has always held a passion for the art of pairing a delicious meal with high-end wine, today she oversees not just the Ram’s Gate culinary program but the winery operations and hospitality, as well.

“A California-native, Taylr graduated with a business degree from Loyola University Chicago in 2007. Immediately following, she pursued her passion for culinary arts and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2010. Fueled by a desire to explore how wine and food can interact, Taylr found herself drawn to wine country. She was among the first members of the Ram’s Gate team when she joined as Sous Chef in 2011 and by 2012, she transitioned to Executive Chef. During her tenure, she helped build the winery’s state-of-the-art culinary program. With her background in business and management, along with her can-do attitude and willingness to tackle any challenges that come her way, she climbed the ladder and became Managing Director of Ram’s Gate Winery in 2017. Taylr believes that, like wine, building a legacy brand takes time and patience, and is motivated by a desire to see Ram’s Gate constantly catapult to the next level.”

Ram’s Gate Director of Winemaking Joe Nielsen

Joe Nielsen is the director of winemaking. Website notes: “Following nearly ten years at Donelan Family Wines in Santa Rosa, Joe became Director of Winemaking at Ram’s Gate in 2018 and spent his first year focused on digging into the soils of Ram’s Gate and falling in love with the estate. ‘Coming to Ram’s Gate, I feel like I’ve been given a pile of gold and silver and they’re asking me to make jewelry,” says Joe. “I have everything I need to make great wines that are complete, complex and compelling.’”

Ram’s Gate Sauvignon Blanc, Carneros 2020 is tart and tasty with good acidity and lemon-lime, grapefruit, and pineapple backed by green apple. At the same time, there is subtle softness and roundness thanks to the quality fruit and time on the lees. This is delicious easy drinker with a slight edge. Nice juxtaposition and combination. It is worth you giving it a sip to see if it suits your palate. Works as aperitif, also as a solo sipper. Pair with shellfish; lighter fish; boiled shrimp; lobster; oysters; pork and lighter meats; garden salads with fruit; vegetarian fare. Cheese—goat cheese is THE classic pairing with sauv blanc; asiago, gouda, gruyere, feta, muenster. $30-37

Ram’s Gate website

Ram’s Gate winery
Ram’s Gate vineyard
Ram’s Gate courtyard
Ram’s Gate tasting area
Ram’s Gate vineyard tour
Ram’s Gate food-wine tasting
Ram’s Gate outdoor tasting