2012 Ramey Sonoma Coast Syrah

SKU #1168046 92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The outstanding 2012 Syrah Sonoma Coast’s opaque purple color is followed by notes of apricot marmalade (5% Viognier is co-fermented in this wine), black olives, cassis and blackberries. Dense, plump, corpulent and full-bodied, this luscious, hedonistic Syrah will drink well for 7-8 years. (RP)  (12/2014)

93 points Vinous

 A big, powerful wine, the 2012 Syrah hits the palate with dark fruit, mocha, spices, new leather and cedar. The style is decidedly ample and textured, with layers of intense black fruit and plenty of Russian River generosity. This is one of the most powerful, ample Syrahs readers will come across. The 2012 isn't especially varietal, but it sure is delicious. David Ramey has crafted a Syrah with distinctly Napa Valley-like richness. The 25% whole clusters are pretty much buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. (AG)  (1/2015)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (blended with 6% co-fermented Viognier; 25% new oak): Glass-staining ruby. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes ripe dark fruits, incense and mocha, with a peppery quality adding lift. On the palate, sweet blueberry and cherry liqueur flavors put on weight with air and show a smooth, velvety texture. The peppery note repeats on the spicy finish, which is framed by smooth, slow-building tannins. Quite impressive for an entry-level Syrah bottling. (ST)  (6/2014)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* Both optimally ripened and youthfully tight with an attractive overlay of creamy oak to its ample, mildly peppery, blackberry fruit, Ramey's Sonoma Coast bottling may be a bit backward at the moment but conveys a fine sense of stuffing and substance. Its early suppleness is countered by a fairly full dose of tannin, yet its fruit never falters or dries. Age is demanded rather than simply advised, and its recommendation is conditional on a good five years of patience.  (7/2015)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* Co-fermented with 5% Viognier, as is typical in all of this producer's Syrahs, this wine offers a wild, feral intensity on the nose of black pepper, cigar box and leather. From there, it softens with well-defined layers of blueberry and blackberry, the tannins settled and structured, the wine finishing in dusty oak. (VB)  (6/2015)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Rich, with vivid dark berry, raspberry and crushed rock accents to the firm tannins. This captures the density of the grape yet remains light-footed, graceful and refined, ending with a clean, snappy finish. Drink now through 2023. (JL)  (3/2015)

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5