Pinot Noir - North Coast - Ramsay

Kent Rasmussen planted his first six acres of Carneros Pinot Noir in 1979. He added two acres in 1981 and two more in 1986. Before long the region gained prominence as word spread about the up-and-coming producers of Carneros, with Kent at the top. A quarter century later he has established an international reputation for growing and producing distinguished Pinot Noir, and Carneros is now considered one of the best growing regions in the world. Kent's earliest plantings were suitably mature to start making ultra-premium Pinot Noir by 1986. He crushed about 10 tons of Pinot Noir and small amounts of other varieties, including Chardonnay, purchased from neighboring vineyards using the tractor shed and garage as a cellar. The wines were very well received and the winery started to grow. In a few years, Kent and his wife Celia Ramsay were running the business full time producing great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Starting in 1989, Kent and Celia launched a second brand, called "Ramsay" - Celia's maiden name - which was originally intended to focus on some 'less-than-usual' varietal wines. But as time passed, the Ramsay brand has taken on an entirely different identity, that of a true 'second label'. Best known for its high quality, but lower-price, Ramsay Pinot Noir is often poured by the glass in wine bars and restaurants. The Ramsay-brand line also includes a Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Merlot.

Characteristics: Ramsay Pinot Noir is a carefully crafted blend from grapes originating in two of California’s most favored Pinot Noir regions: the Carneros of southern Napa Valley, and Mendocino County, where sunny, warm days are invariably followed by surprisingly cool nights. The near-perfect weather is ideal for this delicate variety, as the cool nighttime temperatures help to retain the grape’s natural acids and preserve the graceful aromas and flavors for which the often-difficult Pinot Noir is so renowned.

Grape Varietals: Pinot Noir

Enjoy With: A simple, grilled salmon or sage-dusted pork tenderloin.

Tasting Notes