2012 Ramey Napa Valley Claret

SKU #1154608 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid ruby. Expressive aromas of dark berry preserves, candied flowers, pipe tobacco and white pepper. Fleshy and open-knit, offering sweet blackcurrant and cherry compote flavors lifted and sharpened by juicy acidity. Supple tannins build slowly on the finish, which repeats the berry and tobacco notes.  (6/2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Ramey has always done a good job with Cabernet Sauvignon. He produces 6,000 cases of his Claret, a lighter-styled, immediately drinkable red wine. The 2012 Claret is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and the rest Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Its dark ruby hue is accompanied by notes of cedarwood, roasted herbs, and red and blackcurrants in a flavorful, medium-bodied, elegant, surprisingly Bordeaux-like style. This supple red is ideal for drinking now and over the next 7-8 years. (RP)  (12/2014)


 The 2012 Claret is a fabulous wine for the money. Bright red fruit, iron, smoke, spices and dried flowers lift from the glass in a vibrant, perfumed Cabernet Sauvignon-based red long on personality. Expressive floral and spice notes add lift on the finish. The style is a bit lighter than is typically found in the Ramey Cabernets, which also contributes to the wine's early accessibility. (AG)  (1/2015)

K&L Notes

Ramey's Claret is made entirely from Napa Valley fruit, a cuvée of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 2% Malbec, 2% Syrah, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. It was aged in a combination of French and American oak for 12 months before being lightly fined and bottled unfiltered. Ramey delivers excellent value across their entire portfolio, but this is an excellent example of an overachieving entry-level wine. It is also a good introduction to the highly anticipated 2012 Napa Valley vintage and a hint of things to come.

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Price: $36.99
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Staff Image By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | Send Email
Always one of my favorite Bordeaux blends of the Napa Valley that is done in an old-school style that actually has gorgeous structure and minerality. I even get a touch of gravel from the soil on the finish. Well integrated French oak and purity of fruit. Love the forward quality of 2012s; this you can enjoy or keep for years to come!

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5