Wine Review: Ramey Claret North Coast 2018

rameyThere is no single answer to what makes a wine great. Some wines are great because of their complexity. Others because of their power and depth. Others because they are original or markedly eccentric. I am a sucker for wines that are elegant and graceful. This wine has the grace of a garden where serenity reigns and time adjourns, the pure breath of silence… It is simply gorgeous.

The evolution is seamless from its supple, round opening through a gentle midpalate expansion, where tannins and acidity ebb and flow in time to some divinely inspired rhythm, to the elegant finish anchored by lovely fruit persistence. The acidity is firm, the tannins show a slight chew but the balance never wavers, the cloak of silk pulled gently across its shoulders.

The aromas are bright and fresh—a blend of  black current and red berries, lavender-inflected cedar, a bit of dusty earth and pepper, and a hint of coconut. The palate adds coffee notes and a narrow gravel-like seam that sets off the tender fruit.

But most of all, this is a wine of intimacy and affection, its soft exclamations tell us this is how love begins. The pairing with Diana Krall’s “Departure Bay” was exquisite.

Notes: A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 9% Syrah, 2% Petite Verdot. Claret is the British term for a Bordeaux blend. Production information is not available yet. The North Coast AVA is a large, catch-all appellation that includes the 6 counties north of San Francisco.

Score: 93

Price: $25 (375 ml bottle)

Alc: 14.5%


  1. Dwight, thank you! A very poetic description. We’re midway through the ’17 now, but the 375’s sell out ahead, so this is
    an ’18. Cheers!

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