Ramey, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon “Annum”
Ramey, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon “Annum”

Ramey, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon “Annum”

California, United States 2017 (750mL)
Regular price$100.00
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Ramey, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon “Annum”

Napa Valley is a boom-and-bust region, just like its neighbors in the Sierras or San Francisco. Of course, the “gold” here has been Cabernet Sauvignon for more than half a century, with prospectors doing their best to cash in wherever they think the next trend might hit. But the cream rises to the top and there is no question that David Ramey has risen steadily there over the last four decades.

“Annum” is one of Ramey’s flagship bottlings, and if you’re looking for a one-stop survey course on classic Napa Valley Cabernet, look no further. It’s no exaggeration to call this one of the best pound-for-pound values in California wine, especially if your preference is soul and sense of place over super-saturated flash. Much as Ramey may be associated with Sonoma-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, let’s not forget that his first really important wine job was with none other than Christian Mouiex at a Bordeaux château you may have heard of: Pétrus. Annum represents the seamless marriage of impeccable vineyard sources and an expert hand in the cellar—it is a legitimate blue-chip Cabernet. The decision is very simple: stock up while you have the chance!

The Ramey label is generally associated with Sonoma, and that tracks perfectly with David’s groundbreaking work at Matanzas Creek and Chalk Hill in the 1980s and ’90s. While exploring the infinite potential of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at these estates he founded his own winery in 1996 and of course became immediately connected to the Sonoma AVAs and their star grapes. Sure, David graduated from U.C. Davis, the de facto winemaker farm system for California, but it was his short but influential stint at the world-famous Pétrus that set him on his current path.

What is that path? David has always been an advocate of some decidedly “non-Davis” winemaking practices including fermenting with native yeasts and bottling his wines without fining or filtration. He is making wines the way his favorite European teachers and mentors do. This is not a vanity project for a billionaire who wants the next “cult” label, but a true labor of love by someone who has been immersed in the best of Northern California farming and winemaking for 40+ years. David walks the walk and talks the talk, he can hold court with experts in both Bordeaux and Burgundy, and he uses this vast knowledge in all aspects of the business. But mostly he just enjoys walking the vineyards, and putting top-notch, delicious wine on the dinner tables of Northern California and beyond!

The 2017 Napa Valley Cabernet “Annum” is a perfect encapsulation of Ramey’s decades-long search for winemaking balance and perfection. The good old days in Bordeaux with Christian and the Pétrus team can be found here, dancing with the beauty of Napa and weaving layers of saturated red and black fruit, exotic spices, bay leaf, soft leather, graphite, and cigar box. Sourced from some of the best vineyards in both the hills and valleys, it has both richness and structure, framed by spice and texture from two years of aging in oak barrels. It is the perfect wine for when you need to pull a cork on something that will impress but doesn’t “scream.” Instead, it whispers in a soft, pleasant baritone that you are enjoying the very best of Napa. If consuming this bottle now, decant it at least 30 minutes before serving at 60 degrees in Bordeaux stems. If you don’t have a “go-to” pairing at the ready for a Cab of this magnitude, we’ve got something in mind (see attached). Cheers!

Ramey, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon “Annum”
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United States

Washington

Columbia Valley

Like many Washington wines, the “Columbia Valley” indication only tells part of the story: Columbia Valley covers a huge swath of Central
Washington, within which are a wide array of smaller AVAs (appellations).

Oregon

Willamette Valley

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has become an elite winegrowing zone in record time. Pioneering vintner David Lett, of The Eyrie Vineyard, planted the first Pinot Noir in the region in 1965, soon to be followed by a cadre of forward-thinking growers who (correctly) saw their wines as America’s answer to French
Burgundies. Today, the Willamette
Valley is indeed compared favorably to Burgundy, Pinot Noir’s spiritual home. And while Pinot Noir accounts for 64% of Oregon’s vineyard plantings, there are cool-climate whites that must not be missed.

California

Santa Barbara

Among the unique features of Santa Barbara County appellations like Ballard Canyon (a sub-zone of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA), is that it has a cool, Pacific-influenced climate juxtaposed with the intense luminosity of a southerly
latitude (the 34th parallel). Ballard Canyon has a more north-south orientation compared to most Santa Barbara AVAs, with soils of sandy
clay/loam and limestone.

California

Paso Robles

Situated at an elevation of 1,600 feet, it is rooted in soils of sandy loam and falls within the Highlands District of the Paso Robles AVA.

New York

North Fork

Wine growers and producers on Long Island’s North Fork have traditionally compared their terroir to that of Bordeaux and have focused on French varieties such as Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

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