2009 Ramey Claret

Year: 2009
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 90-92
Vinous Media: 91
Red Wine
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"The 2009 Claret is a silky, polished wine very much in the style of the year. Layers of fruit flow effortlessly from this attractive, mid-weight red. Sweet berries, flowers, spices and licorice are some of the many nuances that flesh out on the finish. This is a more feminine, gracious style than the 2008, but there is still quite a bit of heft. In 2009 the blend is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Syrah and 1% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

David Ramey is one of the few California winemakers who thinks in terms of structure, not just flavor, something that sets him apart from many of his peers. All of the wines I tasted at Ramey’s cellar just outside Healdsburg were terrific. I also sampled a number of older wines, all of which have held up very well. Best of all, most of the wines remain very fairly priced considering the quality of what is in the bottle. My visit ended with the 2001 Cabernet Jericho Canyon Road, which was stunning. At age 10 it remains an infant. I only wish I owned it. The next best thing is Ramey’s new Annum bottling from 2009 forward, the vintage in which the main vineyard source switched to Shartsis, a parcel in Rutherford close to Dana Estates’s Helms vineyard. The Pedregal, from a vineyard in Oakville, is perhaps even better, but it also costs twice as much. The appellation Chardonnays spend 12 months in oak, ranging from 20-25% new, while the vineyard designates spent 18 months in oak, with a higher percentage of new barrels." (WA)

"Inky ruby. Cassis, licorice and pungent herbs on the nose. Supple, sweet and lush but surprisingly lively, offering deep red- and blackcurrant flavors and a touch of bitter cherry. This is showing more richness than I usually find in this bottling. Finishes broad and sweet, with suave tannins and a late note of licorice." (IWC)