16 February 2011

2006 Ramey Claret (Napa)

I think I've found a new favorite wine EVER.  Ramey's 2006 Claret, a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec (surprising, I know!), 4% Merlot, 3% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, was a revelation to me.

A deep, dark ruby color, it had an exquisite bouquet of blackberry and honey scents.  Upon tasting, it was heaven!  An explosion of ripe and vibrant fruits hit my palate, with strong flavors of cherry and blackberry.  A smooth, clean finish followed, with notes of honey and vanilla lingering.  The acidity and tannins were in perfect harmony, giving the wine structure while letting the fruit shine.

It was high in alcohol - 15% - and had a slightly warming effect, which reminded me of Port.  This is easily one of the best bottles I have ever drank and I hope I can find more.

I drank the wine with a special dinner in which I served grilled salmon and a potato dauphinoise.  The salmon was not the best choice - the wine tended to enhance the fishiness - but I'd had beef the night before and the salmon looked good at the store.  But I was determined to enjoy the Ramey Claret that night!  It wasn't a bad pairing, but it wasn't great.  Hopefully I will find something super enjoyable next time.  It did pair nicely with the dauphinoise, though, the fruit and acidity cutting through the creaminess and cheese of the potatoes.

Ramey Claret 2006 is a great value - I got mine for a little over $30 - and it was divine.  It is easily the most delicious wine I've had at that price point, and maybe just one of the most delicious I have had EVER.  I got it from The Cellar Rat in downtown KC and hope they have more when I go back.

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Books: Still catching up on Wine Spectator.

Bottles: The above Ramey Claret 2006.

Writing: Had a major revelation about the novella.  I'm feeling very stoked.

Guitar: "Sheep," "Sorrow," "Study in A."  I just noticed all my projects begin with S.