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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hey, pssst, Aubert fans, doesn’t this guy deserve a temple too?

Broadcasting a ‘calling all Aubert fans’ is tantamount to me saying ‘hey, you guys that are into wine, I’ve got something to show you,’ but trust me, there’s reasoning behind this. David Ramey is as well known for Chardonnay, if not more so than Mark Aubert, but, from the outside looking in, I haven’t noticed a shrine to Ramey anywhere near the magnitude of Aubert’s….perhaps Ramey worship takes place w/ less fanfare (or maybe I’m hanging in the wrong sewing circles)?

My scrutiny stems from my feeling that they are an apples to apples comparison in terms of breed, style & quality…heck, they even shop at the same store (Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay fruit is used by both winemakers)! Seeing that they have both struck a similar chord in my Chardonnay spine, I’ve been helplessly addicted to each, yet the availability, price & production of the Ramey wines is ultimately more attractive to me. Ay, is that the rub? Is it the old adage of ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ the answer to my question? Is it the scarcity that amps up the homage-o-meter, or am I missing something else?

Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to promote an inflation of Ramey chardonnay pricing (or demand, for that matter), but I can’t help observe how the top single vineyard efforts really are cut from the same cloth as Aubert…cult or not.

Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay, 2005
David Ramey, the master of French oak integration, has really struck gold w/ the ’05 vintage. A popular ‘grand cru site’ also used by Mark Aubert, this Ritchie Vineyard reveals aromas of tangerine spread, citrus zest, lemon oil, salted pecans, liquid minerals and quince. The mouthfeel is expansive, yet brutally precise, displaying a bright beam of pure stone fruit that pumps along a stony frame w/ great length and class. The poise, precision and persistence really set Ramey & Aubert apart, almost as if Meursault came to California & set up shop, 95 points.

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