A fabulous Pinot Noir that’s rich and deeply flavored, with the most wonderful structure. After a fruity, spicy entry, the wine sinks down dramatically on the midpalate, offering masses of cherries, raspberries, red currants, cured meats, sautéed mushrooms, spices and sweetly toasted sandalwood. Bone dry, and capable of aging eight years in the cellar, it surpasses…
A fabulous first Chardonnay under his own name by winemaker David Ramey (previously of Chalk Hill, Matanzas Creek, Dominus and elsewhere). Smoky and intriguing fruit. Rich mouthfeel, beautiful texture and balance. Very flavorful, but more than that, it shows tremendous nuance and subtlety. Sensuous and profound.
This is one for the cellar. Dry and savory, it shows powerfully ripe blackberry, cherry, cassis and coffee flavors that have been well oaked, and the silky, elegant texture of Pinot Noir. But there’s a youthful tightness that withholds the wine’s tender heart. Best after 2008, and will develop for an additional 6 to 10 years.
Etude’s Heirloom bottling is vintage-driven, and the 2005 is a great wine. It’s a powerhouse that in its youth is full-bodied and almost heavy. It shows massive flavors of red currants, cherry pie filling, cola, figs and spices that taste like they were baked into a dessert pastry, except that the finish is thoroughly dry. What’s hard to communicate is the wine’s…
This shows crisp acids and fine balance. It’s huge in blackberry and cherry fruit, but has the structural integrity and finesse that, quite simply, make it a very great Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now–2015.
Shafer consistently produces one of the biggest, fruitiest Chardonnays in California, and yet the wine remains balanced and interesting. The 2009 Red Shoulder Ranch is gigantic in pineapples, pears, mangoes, tangerines and honey, yet so minerally and crisp that somehow it finishes dry.
David Ramey is distinguishing himself as one of America’s top winemakers and his second-ever Chardonnay from this vineyard is stellar. Burgundian in style, it features butterscotch, jasmine, honeysuckle and even some cream soda on the nose. The buttery, citrus flavors unfold little by little until you have what can best be described as a marvelous wine.
This is the winery’s most expensive bottling, a late disgorged bubbly that has now seen a decade of age. It shows the elegant polish of the ’97 Royal Cuvée, but is superior even to it in richness. The creamy smoothness is the star attraction, but so are the subtle citrus, raspberry, brioche and vanilla flavors. Impeccably dry balance guarantees that this beautiful…