2010 Ramey Wine Cellars Syrah Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Expert Rating
RP 95 points
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Rodgers Creek Vineyard 95pts and David Ramey's Bad Timing

For years, David Ramey has been turning out some of the top Chardonnays, Cabernets and Syrahs on the coast. But even as Chardonnay sales skyrocket, and demand for David's Pedregal and Annum Cabernets far exceeds supply, Syrah sales lag behind. As a result, in what would turn out to be the most extraordinary Syrah vintage of the new millennium, Ramey trimmed back his production. David's timing couldn't have been worse!

Thin-skin Syrah most prospers in long, drawn-out growing seasons, absent the heat spikes that cause clusters to raisin and shrivel. But even on the chilliest perches of the Sonoma Coast, there's always a risk of a torrid spell. When the berries blister, the wines tend to be Port-like and ponderous, absent the hedonistic vibrancy that makes Syrah one of the world's most noble red varieties.

There was magic in the air on California's North Coast in September and October 2010. The Giants got almost impossibly hot in September and came from behind to make the playoffs, and then toppled the mighty Phils in the NLCS before taking the World Series. Just an hour and a half north of McCovey Cove, the Sonoma Coast was enjoying one of the coolest and longest growing seasons in history, making for a Syrah bonanza that would send critical heads spinning.

Parker's Wine Advocate wouldn't hold back, awarding 52 ratings of 94 points or more to the greatest Syrah names on the coast. Manfred Krankl would lead the way, earning 98-100 points for his Sine Qua Non Five Shooter, which now fetches a cool $400/bottle at auction! John Kongsgaard's Hudson Vineyard Syrah earned 97 points, and goes for $200. Not to be outdone, the brilliant Joey Tensley's Syrah Noir garnered 96 points, and sold out on release at $145.

But of all the phenomenally rich, vibrant Syrahs of 2010, just one would be offered at a price that wouldn't put a dent in your daughter's college fund. David Ramey's extravagant 2010 Rodgers Creek Syrah earned 95 points from the Advocate, but true to his deflationary ways, Ramey refused to take a price hike ― offering the most mesmerizing single-vineyard Syrah in winery history for a price that reads like a misprint.

The 2010 Ramey Syrah Rodgers Creek Vineyard, Sonoma Coast is a gentle monster. Inky purple to the rim with plush, high-pitched aromas of blackberry, tobacco, and sweet herbs, lightly laced with new-wood cedar. At once massively concentrated and beautifully vibrant ― speaking volumes to this remarkably drawn-out growing season ― the attack is packed with black- and red-fruit preserves and dark plum, all the opulence offset by bracing coastal nerve. Drink now ― if you must ― for its primary fruit opulence. Or far better, do as Parker suggests, and lay this one down until 2029!

Tasting Notes

2010 Ramey Wine Cellars Syrah Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast
"An exotic melange of dark fruit, black pepper, savory herbs, game and licorice emerges from the 2010 Syrah Rodgers Creek Vineyard. Another big, large-scaled Syrah, the 2010 is likely to require considerable patience. This unapologetically rich, intense Syrah keeps getting better and better in the glass, but it is not for the timid or for those seeking subtlety. Still, it is impossible not to love the exuberance and sheer personality of the wine in the glass. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029."
95 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate


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