I'm back in the saddle again!
Extra points who can tell me where that saying comes from. Hint; you need to be AT LEAST a Baby Boomer or older to probably know.
Anyway, I'm referring to the fact that wine tastings have once again started for 2018. Like it always does, it starts fairly slow. I can say that I've been to, or poured at, a few so far. Most pretty innocuous. French tasting (was about what I expected), a tasting with what was called "Unique" wines (slightly different and most tasters a little surprised by the wines) and the "Pièce de Résistance" that I just went to (not pouring at) that this post is all about.
When I first learned about this tasting I had to ask myself "self, do you really want to venture out at 6:30 P.M. only to taste wine, especially when it was a good half hour away?" The one thing how retirement has influenced my life is that I have fallen subject to the 4:30 P.M. dinner routine. So you don't feel too sympathetic, or maybe that should be just pathetic, dinner usually takes a good hour or more to prepare. If I open a bottle of wine, it takes even longer, which is pretty much always.
Now, what was so interesting about this tasting that would make me even consider venturing out at night after 6 P.M.? The name of the winery.
Ramey Wine Cellars
I think there are loads of folks out there that have heard the name before. Especially if you are an ardent Chardonnay fan. Founded in 1996 with his wife, Carla, David spent time at some serious wineries. Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill, Rudd and the first winemaker at Dominus which he acquired through his relationship with Christian Moueix, of Pétrus. Click here for David's Bio.
Even better was the knowledge that Ramey's Central U.S. Sales Manager, Silas Rushton, would be there to talk about the wines and winery. I've talked about how I love having winery reps or owners at tastings, it really adds a bunch. Silas did not disappoint. His love of wine and knowledge of Ramey Wine Cellars just kept adding to the overall experience.
The lineup for the tasting was superb. Starting with a relatively new venture called "Sidebar", we started with their Rosé of Syrah from the Russian River Valley Vintage 2016. We then moved to their Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013. Great wines both. The next wine was an absolute showstopper for me. Their Sonoma Coast Platt Vineyard Chardonnay 2013. A Single Vineyard wine that will be forthcoming in my Wine of the Week column. I'll leave the details till then with the exception that Wine Advocate, or more specifically Robert M. Parker, Jr., rated this wine 96 Points! Nuf said! The next wine was only their second vintage for Pinot Noir from the 2015 vintage, also hailing from the Russian River Valley. True Pinot with dried fruit flavors.
Now comes the big guns. Cabernet. The first from Napa Valley 2013; dark lush fruit, softer tannins than a lot of 2013's with a nice finish. We were then treated to their Top of the Line Cab; their Single Vineyard Pedregal from the Oakville region of Napa 2013 Vintage. Garnering ratings right around 95 Points, myself included, it was magnificent. I mentioned to Silas that the wine reminded me of another high-end Cabernet, the Kathryn Hall Cabernet. Noted for its elegance and softer side, wines of this quality sought after by many.
You might think that we were done. Nope! One more to finish off the night, and besides, it's getting late (after 8 P.M.) and I have to get home before I turn into a pumpkin (or something else??). Another Single Vineyard wine, the 2013 Sonoma Coast Rodgers Creek Vineyard Syrah. Love Syrah. Reminding me a little of the Northern Rhone wines of France, this wine was opulent with its dark dried fruit flavors with a slight spice note finish.
Taking the chance that I wasn't yet to turn into some wilting fruit or vegatable, I spent a little time talking to Silas after the event. A man after my own tastes. Loves to talk wine and, like me, loves to talk wine, A LOT! Wish I would have had more time.
So there you have it, my first "Wine Tasting Tell All" for 2018. I've got some other tastings I'll be pouring at soon, so I hope to have lots of juicy (get it, wines, juicy) stories to tell. Till then.
Last thing, Gene Autry was the one who sang "Back in the Saddle Again."