Harmony, Grace & Thoughtfulness - Man & Bottle
Ramey 2016 Claret 14.5% $42
I often think can find the winemaker in the wine, and yet again, that is the case with David Ramey’s 2016 Claret. On paper this bottling looks like a precise, acrobatic exercise in blending: its fruit hails 89% from Napa Valley and 10% from Russian River with 1% smattering of grapes from the Sonoma County, North Coast and Mendocino AVAs. Moreover, it’s a mix of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Malbec, 8% Syrah and 2% Petit Verdot that sees 12 months of French and American oak barrel aging, only 13% of which is new. Yet from the first to the last drop, this fusion radiates harmony, grace and thoughtfulness, just like the man behind the juice.
Though the creative process may have been complicated, it doesn’t show at all in the wine, not even in a wine this young. The impeccably ripe blueberry and black cherry fruit glides across the palate with a sensuous, lightly mouthcoating texture. The svelte, supple tannins and playful acidity bewitch the palate with easy refreshment. The reverberating, sweet summer berry finish jazzes up with the freshness of aloe and flint as the wine unfolds in the decanter. Impossible to resist and reflect on now, if you lost a bottle, it would easily age well for several years.