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Producer: Ram's Gate Winery, Article: Sonoma: Another Brilliant Vintage in 2018

19 Wines Found
VintageWineColorRatingPriceReviews
2019 Ram's Gate Winery Pinot Blanc Estate Vineyard

I was able to taste two 2019 whites. The 2019 Pinot Blanc Estate Vineyard is another fresh, elegant white that has lots of green apple and citrus fruit as well as a bright, clean, delicious style on the palate. It's a great example of this variety and should keep for a year or so.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $38 1

I was able to taste two 2019 whites. The 2019 Pinot Blanc Estate Vineyard is another fresh, elegant white that has lots of green apple and citrus fruit as well as a bright, clean, delicious style on the palate. It's a great example of this variety and should keep for a year or so.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2019 Ram's Gate Winery Sauvignon Blanc Estate Vineyard

The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc Estate Vineyard reminds me of a top Graves Blanc with its lemon curd, nectarine, and salty mineral aromas and flavors. This is a juicy, medium-bodied, elegant Sauvignon Blanc with loads to love. I suspect it will keep for 2-3 years or more.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $38 1

The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc Estate Vineyard reminds me of a top Graves Blanc with its lemon curd, nectarine, and salty mineral aromas and flavors. This is a juicy, medium-bodied, elegant Sauvignon Blanc with loads to love. I suspect it will keep for 2-3 years or more.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Pinot Blanc Estate Vineyard

Starting out with the 2018 Pinot Blanc Estate Vineyard, this lightly hued white has pretty apple, citrus, and minty notes as well as a clean, deliciously balanced style on the palate. It's well-made and is going to go with just about anything on the dinner table.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $38 1

Starting out with the 2018 Pinot Blanc Estate Vineyard, this lightly hued white has pretty apple, citrus, and minty notes as well as a clean, deliciously balanced style on the palate. It's well-made and is going to go with just about anything on the dinner table.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Sauvignon Blanc Estate Vineyard

The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc Estate Vineyard comes from an estate vineyard in Carneros and was brought up mostly in stainless steel, with a tiny amount in new French oak. It has a beautiful bouquet of lemon curd, nectarines, white flowers, and spice, and is medium-bodied, flawlessly balanced, and elegant on the palate. It's another brilliant white from winemaker Joe Nielsen.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $38 1

The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc Estate Vineyard comes from an estate vineyard in Carneros and was brought up mostly in stainless steel, with a tiny amount in new French oak. It has a beautiful bouquet of lemon curd, nectarines, white flowers, and spice, and is medium-bodied, flawlessly balanced, and elegant on the palate. It's another brilliant white from winemaker Joe Nielsen.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Chardonnay Sonoma Coast

Moving to the Chardonnay, the 2018 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is a terrific appellation wine that does everything right. Buttered stone fruits, toasted almonds, brioche, and honeysuckle notes all emerge from the glass, and this puppy is medium to full-bodied, has bright yet integrated acidity, and delivers a clean, lengthy finish. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $46 1

Moving to the Chardonnay, the 2018 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is a terrific appellation wine that does everything right. Buttered stone fruits, toasted almonds, brioche, and honeysuckle notes all emerge from the glass, and this puppy is medium to full-bodied, has bright yet integrated acidity, and delivers a clean, lengthy finish. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Chardonnay Cellar Note

The 2018 Chardonnay Cellar Note comes from a handful of sites on the Sonoma Coast and spent 11 months in 30% new French oak. White flowers, crushed citrus, honeysuckle, and brioche notes all emerge from this beauty. It's another rich, textured Chardonnay that stays fresh and lively. With subtle background oak and terrific balance, it's going to keep nicely for at least 4-6 years, probably longer.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $56 1

The 2018 Chardonnay Cellar Note comes from a handful of sites on the Sonoma Coast and spent 11 months in 30% new French oak. White flowers, crushed citrus, honeysuckle, and brioche notes all emerge from this beauty. It's another rich, textured Chardonnay that stays fresh and lively. With subtle background oak and terrific balance, it's going to keep nicely for at least 4-6 years, probably longer.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Chardonnay El Diablo Vineyard

A single vineyard release from the Russian River Valley, there are 420 cases produced of the 2018 Chardonnay El Diablo Vineyard. Aged 11 months in 35% new French oak, it has a more subtle style yet still packs plenty of ripe citrus, sautéed lemon, brioche, and honeyed flower notes as well as medium-bodied richness. It's nicely balanced, elegant, and silky on the palate, with good acidity. Give bottles another 6-12 months and enjoy over the following 7-8 years.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $70 1

A single vineyard release from the Russian River Valley, there are 420 cases produced of the 2018 Chardonnay El Diablo Vineyard. Aged 11 months in 35% new French oak, it has a more subtle style yet still packs plenty of ripe citrus, sautéed lemon, brioche, and honeyed flower notes as well as medium-bodied richness. It's nicely balanced, elegant, and silky on the palate, with good acidity. Give bottles another 6-12 months and enjoy over the following 7-8 years.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Chardonnay Flora Marie Vineyard

Also from the Russian River and aged in 30% new French oak, the 2018 Chardonnay Flora Marie Vineyard has a great bouquet of ripe citrus, peach, flower oil, candle wax, and brioche. This carries to a powerful, full-bodied Chardonnay with beautiful purity, bright acidity, and a great, great finish. It's one of the standouts here.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $70 1

Also from the Russian River and aged in 30% new French oak, the 2018 Chardonnay Flora Marie Vineyard has a great bouquet of ripe citrus, peach, flower oil, candle wax, and brioche. This carries to a powerful, full-bodied Chardonnay with beautiful purity, bright acidity, and a great, great finish. It's one of the standouts here.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard

Tons of crushed lemon, citrus, honeysuckle, and exotic flower notes emerge from the 2018 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard, which comes from a great site in the Carneros region. With bright acidity, a certain salty minerality, beautiful purity, and a kiss of background oak, it's another remarkable Chardonnay from this team. It's going to evolve for at least 7-8 years.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $70 1

Tons of crushed lemon, citrus, honeysuckle, and exotic flower notes emerge from the 2018 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard, which comes from a great site in the Carneros region. With bright acidity, a certain salty minerality, beautiful purity, and a kiss of background oak, it's another remarkable Chardonnay from this team. It's going to evolve for at least 7-8 years.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Chardonnay Estate Vineyard

Last of the Chardonnay, the 2018 Chardonnay Estate Vineyard comes from the winery’s estate vineyard and there are a little over 1,000 cases produced. Its medium gold hue is followed by a rich, medium to full-bodied effort that offers rocking nectarine, peach, honeyed flower, and brioche aromas, bright, juicy acidity, no hard edges, and a great finish. It's another terrific wine in the lineup that I'd be happy to have in the cellar.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $76 1

Last of the Chardonnay, the 2018 Chardonnay Estate Vineyard comes from the winery’s estate vineyard and there are a little over 1,000 cases produced. Its medium gold hue is followed by a rich, medium to full-bodied effort that offers rocking nectarine, peach, honeyed flower, and brioche aromas, bright, juicy acidity, no hard edges, and a great finish. It's another terrific wine in the lineup that I'd be happy to have in the cellar.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

Moving to the reds, the 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast was all destemmed and spent 10 months in 28% new French oak. Bright black cherry, mulberry, and passion fruit as well as lots of violet and spice notes emerge from this medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced effort. With terrific purity of fruit, a kiss of background oak, and a great finish, it's a terrific appellation wine to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years or so.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $48 1

Moving to the reds, the 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast was all destemmed and spent 10 months in 28% new French oak. Bright black cherry, mulberry, and passion fruit as well as lots of violet and spice notes emerge from this medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced effort. With terrific purity of fruit, a kiss of background oak, and a great finish, it's a terrific appellation wine to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years or so.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Pinot Noir Cellar Note

Coming from younger vines in the estate vineyard (as well as some vines in the El Diablo Vineyard), the 2018 Pinot Noir Cellar Note offers more complexity, with notes of smoked black cherries, black raspberries, forest floor, spice, and a touch of loamy earth. Rich, medium-bodied, and elegant, it too is going to evolve for a solid 7-8 years. There are just over 500 cases produced.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $58 1

Coming from younger vines in the estate vineyard (as well as some vines in the El Diablo Vineyard), the 2018 Pinot Noir Cellar Note offers more complexity, with notes of smoked black cherries, black raspberries, forest floor, spice, and a touch of loamy earth. Rich, medium-bodied, and elegant, it too is going to evolve for a solid 7-8 years. There are just over 500 cases produced.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Pinot Noir Roberts Road Vineyard

All destemmed and brought up in 30% new French oak, the 2018 Pinot Noir Roberts Road Vineyard reveals a lighter ruby hue as well as a pretty bouquet of mulled strawberries, autumn leaves, underbrush, and darker cherries. One of the more ethereal, silky wines in the lineup, it still has plenty of richness and depth, integrated tannins, and terrific overall balance. Drink bottles any time over the coming decade or so.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $75 1

All destemmed and brought up in 30% new French oak, the 2018 Pinot Noir Roberts Road Vineyard reveals a lighter ruby hue as well as a pretty bouquet of mulled strawberries, autumn leaves, underbrush, and darker cherries. One of the more ethereal, silky wines in the lineup, it still has plenty of richness and depth, integrated tannins, and terrific overall balance. Drink bottles any time over the coming decade or so.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Pinot Noir Bush Crispo Vineyard

The 2018 Pinot Noir Bush Crispo Vineyard comes from a site in the Russian River and was mostly destemmed (85%) and spent 16 months in 28% new French oak. Lots of spice, incense, pine tree, and flowery notes all define this complex Pinot Noir, which has a great core of strawberry and raspberry fruit, medium-bodied richness, nicely integrated acidity and tannins, and a great finish. Already complex, textured, and hard to resist, it should nevertheless evolve for upwards of a decade.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $75 1

The 2018 Pinot Noir Bush Crispo Vineyard comes from a site in the Russian River and was mostly destemmed (85%) and spent 16 months in 28% new French oak. Lots of spice, incense, pine tree, and flowery notes all define this complex Pinot Noir, which has a great core of strawberry and raspberry fruit, medium-bodied richness, nicely integrated acidity and tannins, and a great finish. Already complex, textured, and hard to resist, it should nevertheless evolve for upwards of a decade.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Pinot Noir El Diablo Vineyard

Classic spiced red fruits, a touch of cola, and piney, foresty notes emerge from the 2018 Pinot Noir El Diablo Vineyard. It's a riper, sexier wine on the palate, with ample fruit and texture, ripe tannins, and a big finish. It has a wonderful mix of power and elegance and is a beautiful, silky, opulent wine to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $75 1

Classic spiced red fruits, a touch of cola, and piney, foresty notes emerge from the 2018 Pinot Noir El Diablo Vineyard. It's a riper, sexier wine on the palate, with ample fruit and texture, ripe tannins, and a big finish. It has a wonderful mix of power and elegance and is a beautiful, silky, opulent wine to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard

I always love the Pinot Noir from this vineyard and the 2018 Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard doesn't disappoint, offering lots of Bing cherry and strawberry fruit, medium to full-bodied richness, plenty of tannins and acidity, and classic foresty, earthy, spicy Sonoma Coast aromas and flavors. The balance here is terrific. This is a quintessential Pinot Noir from this cool, coastal terroir. Drink bottles over the coming decade.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $75 1

I always love the Pinot Noir from this vineyard and the 2018 Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard doesn't disappoint, offering lots of Bing cherry and strawberry fruit, medium to full-bodied richness, plenty of tannins and acidity, and classic foresty, earthy, spicy Sonoma Coast aromas and flavors. The balance here is terrific. This is a quintessential Pinot Noir from this cool, coastal terroir. Drink bottles over the coming decade.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard

Seeing 30% stems and 16 months in 31% new French oak, the 2018 Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard offers a slightly darker fruited profile, with plenty of spiced red and blackberry fruit mixed with spice, dried herbs, earth, and floral nuances. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and opulent on the palate, it's one of the bigger, richer wines in the lineup, yet it still shows the purity and elegance that's the hallmark of all these releases. This is one of the smaller production releases, with just 303 cases produced.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $80 1

Seeing 30% stems and 16 months in 31% new French oak, the 2018 Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard offers a slightly darker fruited profile, with plenty of spiced red and blackberry fruit mixed with spice, dried herbs, earth, and floral nuances. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and opulent on the palate, it's one of the bigger, richer wines in the lineup, yet it still shows the purity and elegance that's the hallmark of all these releases. This is one of the smaller production releases, with just 303 cases produced.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard

Released with a black and gold label (the other releases here are white/gold), the 2018 Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard offers a slightly tighter, backward vibe as well as notes of black cherries, scorched earth, roasted herbs, graphite, and earth. It's a rich, concentrated, medium-bodied effort with good acidity, some background oak, and a great finish. Give bottles 2-3 years or bottle age and enjoy over the following decade. This is a tiny production release, so don’t miss a chance to latch onto a bottle.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $80 1

Released with a black and gold label (the other releases here are white/gold), the 2018 Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard offers a slightly tighter, backward vibe as well as notes of black cherries, scorched earth, roasted herbs, graphite, and earth. It's a rich, concentrated, medium-bodied effort with good acidity, some background oak, and a great finish. Give bottles 2-3 years or bottle age and enjoy over the following decade. This is a tiny production release, so don’t miss a chance to latch onto a bottle.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

2018 Ram's Gate Winery Hyde Vineyard Syrah

The only Syrah released, the 2018 Hyde Vineyard Syrah comes from the Carneros region on the southern end of Napa Valley and saw plenty of stems (55%) and will spend 20 months in 25% new French oak. This inky hued barrel sample has a big, sexy bouquet of blackberries, smoked earth, ground pepper, and spring flowers. With medium to full-bodied richness, good acidity, and plenty of structure, it's a terrific Syrah in the making.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.

  $70 1

The only Syrah released, the 2018 Hyde Vineyard Syrah comes from the Carneros region on the southern end of Napa Valley and saw plenty of stems (55%) and will spend 20 months in 25% new French oak. This inky hued barrel sample has a big, sexy bouquet of blackberries, smoked earth, ground pepper, and spring flowers. With medium to full-bodied richness, good acidity, and plenty of structure, it's a terrific Syrah in the making.

These are terrific wines are now made by Joe Nielsen, who previously made the wines for Donelan. Production levels for most of these are in the 1,000-case range, so these should be relatively easy to find. They’re rock-solid across the board.