Sidebar Cellars is a new venture by David Ramey, one of California’s finest winemakers. Ramey Wine Cellars is best known for its outstanding hand-crafted premium wines (Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah). These wines are in the medium-price range and consist of diverse varieties: two Sauvignon Blancs, a Syrah rosé, a Kerner, and two red blends, one a Zinfandel-based field blend, the other a Rhone-style blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah. These wines are all well-made, as one would expect from David Ramey, and primarily sourced from high-altitude and densely planted vineyards. They are fresh and fruit forward, mouth filling, California in style, and fun to drink. We recommend them to our readers.
Wine Reviews and Ratings
Sidebar 2015 Sauvignon Blanc High Valley Lake County ($20) 88+ This Sauvignon Blanc exhibits good varietal character, revealing aromas of orchard fruit and hints of herbs. Native yeast fermented in both neutral oak and stainless steel, followed by sur lies aging for four months in neutral oak and stainless steel, it shows good flavor intensity, moderate to high acidity, round mouth feel, and a pleasant finish. Sidebar 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Valley ($34) 89 The Sauvignon Blanc Ritchie Vineyard is sourced from 35-year-old vines (clone 1 with some Musque clone) grown on sandy Goldridge Loam on volcanic rock. Aromas of green apple and herbs are revealed on the nose and palate with a hint of minerality. Fermented in concrete-shaped egg fermenters and aged seven months “sur lies.” Sidebar 2015 Kerner Lodi Mokelumne River ($25) 90 A cross of Riesling and Trollinger, this 100% Kerner offers fragrant and spicy aromas with hints of apple and pear. It is crisp and slightly spritzy on the palate with good acidity and a persistent finish. It is aged sur lies in stainless steel for three months. Sidebar 2015 Rose Russian River Valley ($21) 89 This dry rose is crafted from 100% Syrah sourced from an old-vine Syrah vineyard in Russian River Valley. Bright orange in color, it is bone dry and crisp on the palate with flavors of red berries, refreshing acidity and a long finish. This is a highly versatile rose which will pair well with turkey and a variety of Thanksgiving dishes as well as pork and roast chicken. Sidebar 2014 Red Field Blend Russian River Valley ($27) 90 The Sidebar red field blend consists of 78% Zinfandel, 11% Alicante and 11% Petite Sirah planted between 65 and 125 years ago. Harvested on the same day and fermented in the same tank, it offers attractive aromas of spicy blackberry with hints of red berries and toasted oak. On the palate it reveals more spicy dark fruit flavors, a soft texture, medium acidity, firm tannins and a long delicious finish. Sidebar 2014 Rhoneish Redwood Valley ($27) 90+ This is a lovely Rhone blend of 48% Mourvedre 37% Grenache and 15% Syrah. Sourced from a densely planted high-altitude vineyard overlooking Lake Mendocino, it exhibits bright red and black berry fruit, a soft texture, full mouth feel, firm tannins and a long finish. Crafted with native yeast, aged dur lies in neutral oak for seven months and bottled unfiltered.
Sidebar Cellars (P.O. Box 788) Healdsburg, CA Tel. 707-433-0870