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2016 sidebar sauvignon blanc, high valley –

  • Jeb Dunnuck | June 2018
    • The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc High Valley is also outstanding, with vibrant notes of grapefruit, white flowers and citrus. Sourced from Lake County, drink this medium-bodied, pure, elegant white over the coming year or so. | 90 pts
  • The Daily Meal | Roger Morris | April 2018
    • Nice and juicy with a little tart apple, a little lime, and a little oak.
  • Paper City Magazine | James Brock | February 2018
    • In 2014, Ramey introduced Sidebar Cellars, a line of more affordable wines geared toward younger drinkers — who become, of course, older drinkers as the years pass. The 2016 Sidebar High Valley Sauvignon Blanc is what we drank with our next course, wild shrimp sautéed in butter and a touch of garlic and parsley. A simple yet satisfying dish for a wine that is refreshing, crisp, and seems made for shrimp and garlic. (You can find it for around $22.)Ramey sources the grapes for this wine from the High Serenity Vineyard owned by Brassfield Estate, which, at around 1,760 feet in elevation, is one of the  coolest microclimates in Lake County. This is an understated yet honest bottle — it does not scream, but it does speak of its terroir with confidence and grace. Sidebar made 1,422 cases of the vintage, and if you don’t drink it with sautéed shrimp, try goat cheese or perhaps spiced pecans. Drink at around 48 Fahrenheit.

2016 sidebar sauvignon blanc, ritchie vineyard, russian river valley –

  • Wine Enthusiast | Virginie Boone | June 2018
    • Aged in concrete, this ‘wow’ of a wine is nuanced in nutty almond, Meyer lemon and crisp grapefruit. Sleek and smooth, it features bright focused acidity that complements the complex savory fruit and hints of lemongrass and ginger. | 93pts | Editors’ Choice
  • Jeb Dunnuck | June 2018
    • More grassy and green, with notes of green citrus, mint, and ample minerality, the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Ritchie Vineyard is Loire-like and has a pure, racy, chiseled feel on the palate. It’s balanced, crisp, and perfectly balanced, and should keep for 2-4 years. | 91 pts
  • Wine Spectator | MaryAnn Worobiec | May 31, 2018
    • Offers lemon-lime flavors at the core, with green papaya and fresh ginger notes. Crisp acidity keeps everything in focus. Shows plenty of verve and intensity on the long finish. Drink now. | 90 pts
  • D Magazine | Hayley Hamilton Cogill | May 2018
    • David Ramey’s Sidebar Richie Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc showcases this historic vineyard, highlighting the intense minerality of the Sonoma soils, for a bold wine with character not often found in Sauvignon Blanc.
  • vinous | Antonio Galloni | April 2018
    • The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Ritchie Vineyard offers lovely depth and textural resonance in its orchard fruit, mint, floral and chamomile notes. Here, too, David Ramey is going for a style of Sauvignon Blanc that emphasizes texture and mouthfeel over more varietal flavors. Ritchie has the pedigree to pull that off nicely. | 90pts
  • Palm Beach Daily News | Paul Coombs | April 2018 | Perfect Pairings a matter of taste
    • Our second white wine was the 2016 Sidebar Sauvignon Blanc from Russian River Valley, Sonoma County. Winemaker David Ramey of Ramey Wine Cellars launched Sidebar Cellars in 2014. The grapes were sourced from 44-year-old vines in the Ritchie Vineyard. The wine, released this month, had a typical lime zest and fresh asparagus nose enhanced by a strong mineral backbone in the palate. A fresh, easy-drinking wine, it brought out the freshness of the salmon.

2017 sidebar rosé, russian river valley –

  • 20 Best Sonoma Rosés to Drink this Summer | Sonoma Magazine | Sarah Stierch | June 2018
    • A side project of acclaimed winemaker David Ramey, Sidebar offers easy to drink wines that are meant to be enjoyed now (unlike Ramey’s coveted, cellar-worthy pinot noir under his Ramey Wine Cellars label). The first rosé we tried this year, it’s made from old vine syrah. It has a beautiful color that draws the eyes in and a taste of strawberry and cream that is lush and satisfying on the palate. A great reward after a long day of kayaking on the Russian River.
  • i-WineReview | Don Winkler & Mike Potashnik | June 2018
    • Made from old vine Syrah grown in the center of the Russian River Valley and harvested at about 21 Brix, this is the best Syrah-based rose we’ve had out of California. Medium rose in color, it offers rich raspberry, red plum, and a hint of stems on the palate, finishing with rich extract. | 90 pts
  • The Daily Meal | Roger Morris | June 4, 2018 | 2 Dozen Rosés to Celebrate Summer
    • An alternate label from Dave Ramey, the wine is refreshing and tangy with orange, lime, and some cherry flavors.
  • Food & Wine | Jonathan Cristaldi | May 2018 | 30 Rosés to Drink This Summer
    • This rosé is special, crafted by Sonoma icon David Ramey, producer of mind-bogglingly gorgeous Chardonnays that call to mind the richness and finesse of great white Burgundies. In the glass, a deep pink color with orange hues gives way to a rich and creamy mouthfeel, bursting with candied peach, nectarine and wild strawberry notes. The finish is long, infused with dazzling red-berry and saline mineral notes.
  • North Bay Bohemian | James Knight | May 2018 | Rosé Outlook
    • This Syrah rosé is just a slightly deeper pink than the Pinot rosés above. Yet this wine can’t escape the smoky, savory notes of the Syrah it’s made from, even if it shares some qualities like bracing acidity and pink grapefruit flavor with the Pinot rosés—straight out of the bottle it’s got a bit of matchstick to it. “There’s nothing like spring or summer lunch with a bottle of rosé at home,” winemaker David Ramey says, “and it sparkles in the sunshine.” I would put it in a decanter, and it will sparkle all the more.
  • The Daily Meal | Roger Moore | May 2018 | The Best Rosés for Summer
    • A quite, dry syrah rosé with aromas of grass, smoke, and cherries, followed by a delicate but intricate weave of berry flavors, with a touch of peach and good acidity.
  • Piedmont Lifestyle | Mark Luna | May 2018 | A Run for the Rosé(s)
    • Finally, we journey south to sunny California and to Sidebar Cellars, a boutique companion label to the famed Ramey Wine Cellars’ bottlings. The Sidebar Rosé Russian River Valley 2016 is David Ramey’s first rosé under his new label, and like the spirit of the label itself, it is a casual, but serious wine, dedicated to both quality and enjoyment. What makes this particular rosé distinctly Californian is the fact that it’s 100 percent syrah, the epic Rhone varietal. Syrah has been produced in California for years, making some of the biggest and best red wines around, but to find it in a rosé is truly unique, something only the ambitious Ramey team can achieve. It’s a richly colored wine, with both aromas and palate flavors of raspberry, cranberry, and pepper. The 2016 vintage also received “Top 100 Wines” status in Sonoma Magazine, and because of its sole syrah grape composition, it’s an age-worthy rosé, making it an outstanding, serious food wine. Priced under $25, it’s also a great value.
  • Vinography | Alder Yarrow | April 2018
    • Light coppery pink in the glass, this wine smells of strawberry and watermelon. In the mouth, strawberry and watermelon flavors have a nice aromatic sweetness to them, but not enough zing, thanks to slightly underwhelming acidity. 13% alcohol.

2017 sidebar kerner, mokelumne river, lodi –

  • Palm Beach Daily News | Paul William Coombs | The Right Wine Can Add Sparkle to the Fourth | June 28, 2018
    • The Kerner, a cross between riesling and trollinger grape varieties first created in 1929, and named after Justinus Kerner, a 19th-Century German poet famous for his drinking songs. It was sourced from the Mokelumne Glen Vineyard, the only kerner vineyard in California. The Kerner had a good level of citrus crispness balanced by floral aromas, with a fruity, very juicy palate that was medium-bodied with a slight spiciness in the finish. It works well with lightly spiced food.
  • Jeb Dunnuck | June 2018
    • The 2017 Kerner Mokelumne River (100% Kerner) offers lots of citrus and stone fruits as well as a hint of flowers. It’s medium-bodied, juicy, and downright vibrant on the palate, and is going to be a terrific meal starter. | 91 pts
  • | Isaac James Baker | California White Wines
    • Bright yellow color. Peaches and dried mango, honey, some olive oil and spicy herbal elements as well. On the palate, the acidity is pristine, and it’s balanced wonderfully with a rich texture – but, wow that acidity carries this wine from start to finish. Lemon, white peach, yellow plums, mixed with dried white flowers, wild clover, honeysuckle, and a salty-mineral element that is delicious. Very impressive stuff. (91 points IJB)
  • D Magazine | Hayley Hamilton Cogill | What to Drink Now: Non-Traditional White Wines | June 2018
    • Sidebar Cellars Kerner, from winemaker David Ramey, proves that unique varieties thrive in California sunshine. A crossing of Riesling and Trollinger, the wine is savory, slightly spicy and fresh.
  • Christy Canterbury MW | May 2018
    • I adore Kerner, but I’ve never had one from outside of Italy’s Alto Adige until now. That echoed winemaker David Ramey’s experience, too. He fell in love with Kerner when Paul Greico poured him a glass blind at Terroir Tribeca. So, I jumped at the chance to taste this cross of Riesling and the black grape Trollinger, a.k.a. Schiava Grossa, from California. This is the ONLY Kerner vineyard in California. The vines were planted in 1988 and 1998. This is a glistening yellow wine with scents of lime blossom, Calvados and minced ginger paste. The palate is velvety smooth and pleasantly robust. Mouthfilling flavors of guava and passion fruit dominate, lifted by a hint of celery on the medium finish. So delish, so refreshing and so very Kerner! Don’t miss this!
      Drink: 2018-21 | 91 pts
  • Honest Cooking | Annelise McAuliffe | April 2018
    • The sleek bottle and label is the first thing about this wine that caught our eyes. Its crisp, medium body with refreshing acidity make it the perfect pairing with grilled or pulled chicken tacos. Its minerality makes it a great pairing even if the tacos pack some heat.
  • Vinography | Alder Yarrow | April 2018
    • Pale green in the glass, this wine smells of orange peel, nasturtium flowers and wet pavement. In the mouth, silky flavors of orange peel, kumquat and melon have a nice, crisp snap to them thanks to excellent acidity. A touch of bitterness creeps into the finish. 14.1% alcohol.

2016 sidebar old vine zinfandel, russian river valley –

  • Faces of Zin – Four takes on four Zinfandel wines | Bohemia | James Knight | June 13, 2018
    • Zin has backup. Although the Sidebar Cellars 2016 Russian River Valley Zinfandel ($28) contains less Zin than the previous vintage, which was labeled as a “red blend,” with 78 percent it makes the varietal cut (75 percent is required by law), so why not? Part of the charm, but also the intangible value, of old-vine Zinfandel plantings is that they include a seemingly random hodgepodge of accessory vines. This wine comes from a vineyard originally planted in 1890, and contains Petite Sirah, a common companion to Zinfandel, along with some real outliers like Beclan, Peloursin, Plavac Mali, Palomino and Monbadon.An unusually large fraction of Alicante Bouschet contributes color to this wine, which seems also aromatic of purple ink, along with oily oak, Graham cracker and chocolate biscuit. Why all of those other grapes? Well, in this wine the combination makes for a palate-coating yet surprisingly supple mix of blackcurrant and boysenberry liqueur flavors—maybe those forefathers knew best, after all.
  • Capital Gazette | Tom Marquardt | May 2018
    • Fourteen other varieties — mostly alicante and petite sirah — are blended with zinfandel in this exotic melangé of flavors. Rich, lush mouthfeel with copious dark red fruit flavors.
  • Bigger Than Your Head | Fredric Koeppel | May 2018
    • Wine of the Day
  • D Magazine | Hayley Hamilton Cogill | May 2018
    • Juicy, fruit-forward, peppery and spicy, Zinfandel is the perfect red wine for your summer grilling fare. Here are a few to consider this season. (Some were sent for editorial consideration.) Russian River’s historic Alegria Vineyard, provides fruit up to 125 years old for David Ramey to blend Zinfandel with a touch of Alicante and Petite Sirah in his Sidebar Cellars Old Vine Zinfandel (previously knows as the Sidebar Red Field Blend) ($28). Textured and concentrated, with classic, juicy black fruit flavors without overpowering the palate.

2014 sidebar rhôneish, redwood valley –

  • Wine Enthusiast | Jim Gordon | March 2017
    • With an aroma like sweet vermouth and rich, chocolaty, smoky flavors, this Rhône-style blend exerts an exotic influence on the palate. The mouthfeel is smooth and graceful, with mild tannins, while the lingering finish echoes opulent fruit and spice notes. The winemaker used 48% Mourvèdre and lesser amounts of Grenache and Syrah. – 92 pts & Editor’s Choice

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