2013 Ramey Napa Valley Claret
*Editors' Choice* Having spent only 12 months in barrel, this vintage of the producer’s Claret is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon with 34% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 3% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. It opens in exotic floral and spice, with a juicy midpalate around soft, rounded tannins and smoothly integrated oak. It provides extraordinary value for the quality.
Dark red cherries, plums, smoke and licorice jump from the glass in the 2013 Claret. A bit darker and richer than normal in this vintage, the 2013 Claret is shaping up to be an overachiever. I tasted the 2013 from tank just prior to bottling. In 2013, the Cabernet Sauvignon is down to about 55% of the blend, while Merlot is higher than normal, a decision that I imagine was made to give the wine its customary early appeal in a vintage in which Bordeaux-styled wines are quite imposing. (AG)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I tasted through Ramey’s 2013s, all of which looked to be very impressive, especially his Pedregal, Annum and Napa Cabernet Sauvignons. David Ramey, who is one of the veterans of high-quality winemaking on California’s North Coast, worked in France and at some of the top Napa wineries (Rudd and Dominus) before settling in Healdsburg in Sonoma Valley. He continues to make Chardonnay in a Burgundian style with full malolactic fermentation, and now produces four single-vineyard Chardonnays as well as two generic efforts from the Russian River and Sonoma Coast.