We all need a Yin to our Yang. A sidekick to our superhero, or a red to our white!
Wine works in the same way. Sometimes you need opposites to attract,
or to call attention to the beautiful differences we posses.
Here are two winemakers crushing it (yes, sorry for the pun)
in both worlds of red and white wines.
LET'S BEGIN WITH THE PROFESSOR OF CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY,
DAVID RAMEY OF RAMEY WINE CELLARS.
His historic venture into making California Chardonnay almost didn't happen!
David began his career with an internship at Chateau Petrus...
yes, that Chateau Petrus!
During his time there, his friendship with Christian Mouiex,
heir to the legendary Bordeaux winery, led to a proposal.
Come to California and make wine for Dominus.
Mouiex founded Dominus winery in 1995,
after purchasing the revered Napanook Vineyard.
Ramey saw only one problem with that plan-
Dominus didn't make any white wine.
David asked if he could make some on the side
while working at Dominus, and as they say, the rest is history.
In 1996, Ramey purchased his first Chardonnay fruit
from friend Larry Hyde, and Ramey Cellars was born.
To say his Chardonnays are some of my favorites would
not be enthusiastic enough.
To say his wines, with the Ramey label
on the front,
are a seal of approval-
The first word that comes to mind
Powerful, sultry, mouthful
elegant, subtle and fresh.
A bit of Yin to its Yang.
His red wines show his Bordeaux beginnings...
a brilliance of force with reserve.
Dark fruits, seamless oak integration
with the freshness you expect from his wines.
A definite sense of place, fresh till Earth, but so easy drinking!
He likes to call his Claret a "lunch wine."
I had the immense pleasure to enjoy a bottle over lunch
with Professor Ramey many years ago.
Take it from me...
I would enjoy this wine any day, all day,
and twice on Sunday! $42.99/ bottle
OUR NEXT WINEMAKER IS ANOTHER STORY WITH FRENCH ROOTS!
THE DROUHIN FAMILY NAME IS SYNONIMOUS WITH FRENCH BURGUNDY.
Their journey into the wine business
began over a century ago in France.
140 years ago to be precise.
In 1880, the Drouhin family moved from Chablis to Beaune,
cementing their roots in Burgundy with the purchase of a wine house established in 1756.
Post World War I, they acquired some of the most influential vineyards,
such a Clos des Mouches and a parcel in Clos des Vougeot.
Expansion continues in their strive to produce the highest quality Burgundian wines.
In 1961, the path for the Drouhin family changes direction after
Robert Drouhin visits Oregon for the first time.
Although no vineyards exist at this time, the future is very clear to him-
This is the new frontier for Burgundian varietals.
In 1987, a beautiful parcel of land in the Dundee Hills
becomes available, and Domaine Drouhin Oregon is born.
Daughter Veronique, known as the "Guardian of the Drouhin Palate,"
is named fourth generation winemaker, even though no vines are even planted yet!
Son Philippe joins as vineyard manager, completing the Drouhin transition to America.
Having visited this winery,
I can attest to its beautiful vineyards,
and state-of-the-art four level
gravity flow production system.
It is both hi-tech and hands off,
as the Drouhin way has always been.
The soil, and subsequently the vines,
are the true test for any winemaker.
Philippe practices organic and biodynamic farming,
allowing the soil to be the star of this show.
The "Arthur" Chardonnay was a surprise to me this year.
I clearly remember drinking this wine years ago at the vineyard,
thinking it needed a little more time in bottle after release.
The older age of these Dijon Clone vines really shows today.
It is a tale of two wines, similar to Ramey.
Full of depth and flavor,
but finishing with a surprising citrus element.
The Dundee Hills Pinot Noir is exactly
what I would expect from the Drouhin legacy.
Bright, deep red fruit starts your engine...
secondary notes of bramble, red Earth, and spice.
This Pinot Noir finishes with a clean acidity
that begs you for another taste.
Delicious! $45/ bottle
THANK YOU FOR READING OUR FIRST INSTALLMENT OF
SOMM WINES' TASTING JOURNAL - 2021.
I appreciate all our your support and hope to bring a little love and levity
to your wine experience. The wines written about above can be purchased at our store
SOMM WINES Call- 702-528-8101
102 E. Briggs Ave Email- Krista@sommwines.net
Fairfield, Iowa Website- www.sommwines.net
Thank you again and be safe!
Krista aka the Wine Lady , aka Wine Mistress, aka Mom of Everybody, aka Wine Therapist