About this WINE
Ramey Wine Cellars
Ramey Wine Cellars was founded in 1996 by David Ramey and his wife Carla, after David had worked for almost two decades at such famous wineries as Matanzas Creek and Dominus. "Owning one's own winery is the dream of every winemaker,"; David says, looking back on the path that led him to build his own.
Located just off the town square in Healdsburg, the winery is perfectly placed to make use of the great Sonoma and Carneros terroir famous for the quality of their Chardonnays. Ramey's philosophy is to make hand-crafted wines made in an Old World tradition, coupled with New World innovation.
The complex single vineyard Chardonnays, Hudson and Hyde, are made in exactly the same manner, so as to accentuate the difference in the terroir between the two Carneros vineyards. The Russian River Chardonnay is a fresher wine from the cooler Sonoma site, where the grapes ripen 3 weeks later than Carneros.
Russian River Valley
This low-lying valley Sonoma County in and its 10,000 acres of vineyards was virtually unknown before 1983, when it was granted official appellation status (Russian River Valley AVA).
It has since established a formidable reputation as a prime spot for challenging varieties like Pinot Noir (29% of the acreage in 2007), which thrives in this cool-climate region. Chardonnay (42% of the acreage in 2007) has also blossomed here, showing a signature lean and restrained profile.
The Russian River Valley climate is influenced by cooling fogs, drawn inland from the Pacific. This natural air-conditioning allows the grapes to develop full flavor maturity over an extended growing season, while retaining their life-giving natural acidity.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.