Ram's Gate Winery

Owner(s) Jeff O'Neill
Web site www.ramsgatewinery.com
Link to this site
Ram's Gate Winery

Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma Carneros opened for business in September, 2011. Located at the old Roche Winery site, the architect for the 22,000-square-foot, 30-acre project was Howard Backen, who has done Screaming Eagle, Meadwood Resort and more. The name comes from the fact that Carneros means ram in Spanish and the winery is located at the gateway to the Carneros and Sonoma Valley region.

The executive chef is Taylr Benham who develops small plate pairings for wine tastings to be held in the winery’s underground cellar next to the barrel room. There will also be an open kitchen for chef demonstrations, picnic foods and private wine dinners.

The winemaker is veteran Jeff Gaffner, previously of Saxon Brown, Xtant, Stephanie and Black Kite Cellars. Multiple varietals are offered including a Carneros Pinot Noir, a Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, and a Bush Crispo Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Additional vineyard sources are planned, including Silver Eagle in the Sonoma Coast, Diablo in the Russian River Valley, and Glass House in the Petaluma Gap. In addition, the winery has plantings of Chardonnay, Syrah and small lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.

Only a 40 minute drive north of San Francisco, this is certain to be a popular destination winery in Sonoma. Appointments for tasting are recommended and are held in the Covered Gallery, the Pavilion, the Pond or the Tasting Hall. 707-721-8700. 28700 Arnold Dr., Sonoma (just past Sonoma Raceway on the right).

Reviewed Wines

2012 Ram’s Gate Carneros Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA o.55, 1,954 cases, $40. Aged 11 months in new and used French oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Deep and dark fruited with aromas of black cherries, black currants, dark chocolate and baking spices. Full-bodied flavors of black cherry and blackberry with appealing earth, cola and grilled mushroom accents that are typical of Carneros Pinot Noir. Mouth filling on the attack and generous and rich on the finish with well-managed oak. Not a subtle wine by any stretch, but you have to like its gritty presence. Score: 90. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Ram’s Gate Glass House Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.57, 252 cases, $62. Aged 11 months in two-thirds new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Pleasing scents of dark cherry pie glaze and spice that pick up vibrancy over time. Forward drinking and noticeably intense, with broad flavors of dark red cherries, spice and oak. Impeccably balanced, this cherry-themed wine unveils many nuances that catch your interest over time in the glass. This beauty is stylish and friendly in the mouth, and, simply put, flat out delicious. Score: 93. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Ram’s Gate Sangiocomo Vineyards Roberts Road Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.55, 442 cases, $68. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak. · Light garnet color in the glass. Very fruity on the nose with bright aromas of strawberry and cherry. A little baking spice, sandalwood and sassafras chimes in. Thoroughly enjoyable in the mouth with flavors of red berries and cherry that fan out on the palate. There is definitely an oak presence in this wine but it is not imposing. The soft, slippery, and modestly long finish aims to please. Score: 92. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »