If given the chance to taste a single vineyard bottling of Platt Vineyard Pinot Noir or Chardonnay — take it. Located just 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean along the Sonoma Coast, this 31-acre vineyard is one of the coolest grape-growing sites within the whole AVA. Sitting at about 800 feet in elevation on a south-facing slope, above morning fog level, the land receives maritime air from both the ocean and the Estero Americano — a “fjord-like” funnel that moves marine air through the Petaluma gap and toward the Sacramento delta. The result of this constantly cool climate: small crops with intense fruit flavors, strong levels of acidity, and lower sugar levels.
The vineyard itself is owned by Flanagan Wines, but they source out the fruit to other major players like Radio-Coteau, Littorai, and, of course Ramey.
About the Wine: The Ramey Wine Cellars 2014 Platt Vineyard Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay, Wente clone Chardonnay grapes harvested from Platt Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast AVA. The vines were planted on low-vigor rootstock on the land’s Goldridge Loam soils.
After harvest, the grapes are pressed, whole cluster, and moved to barrel for native yeast and full native malolactic fermentation with sur lies battonage. The wine aged in French oak barrels (25% new) for 19 months, fined, then moved to tanks to settle until the following harvest. This Chardonnay was bottled without filtration. Learn more about Chardonnay winemaking.
Flavor Profile: Open the bottle and there’s a subtle scent of green, bitter vegetables, a bit of butter, and paint thinner. Release the wine and see it pour as very nearly clear, but settling into the glass as a pale yellow with a slight tinge of green in the right light.
On the nose, the Ramey Platt Vineyard Chardonnay has an initial aroma of minimal oak and strong acidity bringing forth thoughts of lemongrass, ginger-root, green grass, and raw nuts. Swirl, and now take a deep breath in to engage in cold butter and cream, delicate white flowers, but very little (if any) fruit.
On the palate, this Chardonnay is soft and round, but firm with strong acidity throughout. Unable to name any fruits, what I sense is that acidity pulling out that bottled-perfume-like quality in the flowers. There’s a bit of effervescence on the tongue and, if you let the wine linger there, you’ll find notes of fresh-cut grass, fresh coriander, and lemon-lime zest. The finish is a spice-filled lingering one, and one that leaves a warmth both in the mouth and in the heart.
This is not a textural wine, nor is this wine a journey — it is a steady constant. The working component here is the acidity, acting like a tool to elevate all the little elements: oak, ML, floral notes, spice, and the near invisible fruit elements. And because of the strength of that acidity, Ramey has created a solid structure of the Chardonnay grape.
Learn more about the Chardonnay grape.
Food Pairing: I paired the Ramey Wine Cellars 2014 Platt Vineyard Chardonnay with a grilled swordfish, coconut rice and mango salsa. This seemingly light white wine does, as I said, have a solid structure, and one that can stand up to the meatiness of a swordfish. Meanwhile, the coconut rice uplifted more of that ML action in the Chardonnay as the mango salsa highlighted those fresher elements. And, as this wine has very little fruit flavors itself, the palate is not overwhelmed by the domineering mango at all. A perfectly balanced wine pairing that I would recommend and do again.
More Info: I received the Ramey Wine Cellars 2014 Platt Vineyard Chardonnay as a sample for review. (Cheers David!) Retail: $65. And if this sounds good, be sure to read about Ramey Wine Cellars Platt Vineyard Pinot Noir as well.
For more information and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Ramey Wine Cellars website.
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