Ramey’s Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from fruit grown in Martinelli’s Charles Ranch Vineyard, planted in 1982 mostly to Wente stock, and Platt Vineyard, planted in 2003 to Wente selected from Ramey’s own Hyde Vineyard. The fruit was whole-cluster pressed and underwent primary and full secondary fermentation in barrel. A year of aging, with bâtonnage, took place in French oak, 15 percent new, and the wine was bottled without filtration.
Its scent is stony, like wet concrete or limestone, but tropical, too, offering starbursts of pineapple and citrus, even passion fruit. The body is light-textured, lactic but not buttery or cloying, more like fresh cream than browned butter. Barrel aging has added a textural dimension but little spice influence. The wine’s acidity is silky and gleaming, and the the finish feels long and relaxed and cooling.
A beautifully crafted, delicious Chardonnay more evocative of Burgundy than California. Pair it with buttery bloomy or washed-rind cow’s milk cheeses, like St-Nectaire, Brie, Camembert, Époisses, or any triple-crème. It’s also savory enough for poultry, pork, and gratins. Terrific, too, as an apéritif.
2014 Ramey Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
14.5% abv | $40 (sample)