Claret, ‘Napa Valley’, Ramey Cellars
Our Claret follows the Bordelaise model of blending different Bordeaux varietals. Malolactic fermentation is completed in barrel, and the blend is assembled early so it is “elevated” as the finished wine. Our 2016 Claret rested on its lees twelve months in French & American oak barrels, only 13% new, with monthly bâtonnage to coat the tannins, producing a luscious, cushioned mouthfeel. This wine was lightly fined with egg whites and bottled without filtration in February 2018.
2016 began with another very early bloom, which lead to a very early harvest ; our first fruit arrived August 5. During maturation, summer temperatures were warm and steady, with fewer heat spikes than 2015. Three weeks of cool weather in August and September relaxed the pace of harvest, allowing for methodical picking decisions and perfectly developed fruit. Yields were relatively average – down from 2014 and up from 2015.
This vintage’s blend sourcing is 89% Napa Valley, 10% Russian River and 1% combined from Sonoma County, North Coast and Mendocino.
Soil Napa Valley soils are comprised of broken down or decomposed rock that has been carried downhill from the eastern Vaca range and the western Mayacamas range to the base of the valley, where they intermingle with the silt, clay and gravel deposits of the Napa River flood plain. The fragment of Mendocino soil is iron-rich Red Vine sandy clay loam, and in the Russian River Valley, a gravelly Felta clay loam.
52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Malbec, 8% Syrah, and 2% Petit Verdot