2013 Ramey "Annum" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
A Cab with tension and brightness plus lots of rose petal, blueberry, currant and lavender character. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Drink and enjoy on release or hold for a few years as it comes more together.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The brilliant 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Annum has licorice, floral notes, smoky underlying subtle oak, blackberry and cassis and a full-bodied mouthfeel with moderate but sweet tannin. This dense wine is exuberant/boisterous and should offer gorgeous drinking over the next 20+ years. 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)
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Annum is one of the richer wines in David Ramey's range, but I don’t see it as meaningfully more complex than the straight Cabernet Sauvignon, perhaps because the 100% new oak is a bit pronounced at this stage. Most of the fruit for the Annum is sourced from hillside vineyards in Mount Veeder, Oakville and Rutherford. It's hard to know where to begin with these wines from David Ramey, as there are so many highlights, but one common theme is the quality of the entry-level wines. The appellation-level Chardonnays, Pinot, Syrah and Claret all deliver serious quality for the money. As always, the Chardonnays are made in a rich, Burgundian-leaning style that emphasizes relatively long aging in barrel by California standards. The reds all capture a highly attractive stylistic middle ground that offers plenty of New World, California fruit wedded to an Old World sense of structure. In addition to the wines reviewed here, I also tasted a number of wines that were in an awkward stage of their elevage, just before bottling, including the 2014 Claret, 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Pedregal Vineyard, 2013 Syrah Cole Creek Vineyard and 2013 Syrah Rodgers Creek Vineyard. I will report on those wines once they have had time to settle down after bottling... 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc. (AG)
*One Star* As a group, Ramey's Cabernets tend to the somewhat rustic side of things and are, to varying extents, built upon fairly tannic foundations. This one fits the mold and favors extract over grace with an edge of bitter chocolate to its dense, yet somewhat withdrawn fruit, and its decidedly astringent finish is trimmed with a touch of peppery heat. It has plenty of fruity muscle, but it is hampered by sinewy coarseness as well, and, if five to ten years of age will work in its favor, the wine will never be the picture of refinement and grace.