2013 Ramey "Pedregal" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
A huge, powerful wine, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Pedregal Vineyard bursts onto the palate with intense dark fruit, sage, mint, tobacco, new leather and spice, all backed up by imposing tannins that are going to need quite a bit of time to soften. Vivid and chiseled to the core, the 2013 is shaping up to be a gem. The 2013 includes quite a bit of Petit Verdot (14%), which gives the wine much of its brooding intensity. It's hard to know where to start with this lineup, as David Ramey does so many things so well. The 2012 Chardonnays are beautiful, expressive and ready to go. This year sees the addition of a new Chardonnay, from Woolsey Road, a site farmed by Martinelli that replaces the Hudson in the lineup. Ramey also seems to have gotten the best of the 2012 and 2013 vintages with his Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet-based reds. The 2012s will drink well early, yet have the stuffing to age, while the 2013 are prototypical vins de garde, with all of the dark fruit and structure of this great vintage. Both the Chardonnays and Cabernets reflect a very Francophile sensibility. The Syrahs are a bit different, as they are quite explosive and intense, much like the Cabernets. It's pretty hard to go wrong with anything in this superb range. Best of all, it looks like Ramey's children will soon be joining the family business, which means the future is in good hands. 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc. (AG)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
From Oakville, the 2013 Pedregal Vineyard is usually the top Cabernet Sauvignon. A classic nose of cedar wood, forest floor, blackcurrants and loamy earth notes is followed by a wine of stunning intensity, full-bodied potency, beautiful purity and length. There is plenty of tannin, but the extravagant richness seems to cover it up extremely well. Under the Ramey label, David Ramey has always done a top-notch job with Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Syrah, although he rarely gets enough credit for the latter. There are two generic Chardonnay offerings. I tasted all of Ramey’s 2014s and I will have notes on these when they are finally in bottle, but some of the highlights are certainly included. The 2014 Syrah Rodgers Creek, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Annum and the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Pedregal, as well as a new offering – the 2014 Template (a 75% Merlot/25% Cabernet Franc blend from Mount Veeder) looks to have outstanding potential and is certainly a noteworthy addition to the Ramey portfolio. (RP)
Shows impressive richness, size and grace. For all the depth and intensity, this features a supple, caressing element to the tannins, letting the earth, dried herb and dark berry flavors flow easily. The tannins linger in the background and then finish with a burst of licorice, spice, mocha and oak details. Best from 2019 through 2032. (JL)
Lots of plum and fresh herb aromas and flavors follow through to a full body, very velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. Juicy character.
*One Star* If a bit of a bruiser and slow to unfold, Ramey's Pedregal bottling proves to be a deep and involving wine that gains richness and range with each sniff and sip, and it matches a wealth of well-defined, ripe currant fruit with a nicely tailored measure of crème brûlée sweetness and suggestions of coffee, cola and tobacco. It is presently limited by rather brusque tannins, but it has very good things in store, and it will not only be more texturally polished ten years hence, it will build on the complexity that it is just starting to show.