2017 began with a very wet winter. The summer was mild until a significant heatwave around Labor Day sent winemakers and growers scrambling to pick the first wave of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After the heat wave, temperatures were warm and steady, allowing winemakers to make picking decisions based on optimal fruit maturity rather than impending weather. Our harvest started Aug 21st with the final Merlot from Carneros arriving on October 10th. Yields were very close to projections while fruit quality ranged from great to exceptional, with well-preserved acids, great color and good varietal expression.
Jeb Dunnuck 93. - Golden fruits, caramelized pineapple, spice, and some salty mineral notes all emerge from the 2017 Chardonnay Russian River Valley, one of the more upfront, approachable, fruit-driven wines in the lineup. Nevertheless, it has the purity of fruit, balance, and length that's shared by all of these Chardonnay from Ramey. It's a great introduction into the wines of this estate and ideal for drinking while you give the single vineyard releases bottle age.
Wine Advocate 92 - The 2017 Chardonnay Russian River Valley has a lush perfume of quince paste, honeycomb, candle smoke and hay. The palate is medium to full-bodied, rounded and savory with great freshness to lift the long, nutty finish.