Merlot - Napa Valley - 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: As is typical for our Ramsay Merlots from the last decade, this is a rich wine, with lots of nice ripe fruit, without being a huge tannic monster. I like big, juicy, friendly wines, and this one is absolutely succulent! The grapes from the DeLouise Vineyard just north of the City of Napa are exactly what I want in Merlot: great fruit, structure and complexity
Food Pairing: chicken and other light meats as well as lightly-spiced dark meats.