2009 Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright gold. Wilder and more pungent than the Sonoma Coast bottling, displaying scents of poached pear, porcini and white truffle, along with floral and spice nuances that pick up power with air. Deeply concentrated orchard and pit fruit flavors are energized by tangy acidity. A smoky note comes up on the finish and lingers tenaciously. This comes across like a California version of a premier cru from Chassagne-Montrachet.
Firm, with a taut flintiness to the green apple, spice and floral notes, gaining depth and finesse. Loamy earth aftertaste. Drink now through 2018.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Chardonnay Russian River Valley is a bit rounder and softer than the Sonoma Coast bottling. This is all texture, depth and finesse from the very first taste. Dried apricots, light floral honey and pistachio are some of the notes that wrap around the creamy, inviting finish. The vineyard sources include Dutton, Martinelli, King, Rochioli and Green Pastures. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017. 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.