2014 Ramey Napa Valley Claret

SKU #1260001 91 points James Suckling

 Lots of red-berry, chocolate and cedar character follows through to a medium body, round tannins and a savory finish. Drink now. Why wait?  (5/2017)

90 points Vinous

 The 2014 Claret is a gorgeous wine to drink now and over the next few years. Dark red cherry, tobacco, licorice, menthol and saddle leather give the wine much of its savory, aromatic personality. This is an impeccably balanced, entry-level red from David Ramey. (AG)  (3/2017)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Pure, clean and graceful, this is very rich and well-structured, with a deep, layered core of currant, blackberry, mocha and underbrush, ending with a long, lingering aftertaste. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2027. 5,700 cases made. (JL)  (11/2016)

Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* Direct, black cherry fruit is joined by a helpful bit of caramelly oak in the nose and both are carried forward into the comparatively plump flavors of this, the most accessible of Ramey's four Cabernet-centric wines. While a touch dry at the finish and showing enough tannin for grip, it stops short of being sere or severe and is one to be tagged for drinking in the next three to five years.  (12/2016)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 3% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2014 Claret is a little mute at this youthful stage, offering blackberry and black cherry notes with touches of cedar and spice box. Soft, ripe and with plenty of juicy fruit in the mouth, it has a velvety texture and good length. (LPB)  (2/2017)

K&L Notes

Ramey's Claret is made entirely from Napa Valley fruit, a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and 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.

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Price: $39.99
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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.


- 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.
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