recent reviews and stories 

2015 sidebar sauvignon blanc, high valley –

  • Wine Spectator | MaryAnn Worobiec | May 31, 2017
    • Focused and precise, with detailed lemon meringue, orange blossom and lime zest flavors that are intense, fragrant and harmonious on the long, crisp finish. Drink now. 2,198 cases made.—91 pts, #32 of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2017 & a “Smart Buy” recommendation
  • Blue Lifestyle | Anthony Dias Blue | May 2017
    • Silky and smooth with juicy acidity and racy minerals; balanced and fresh with elegant character; long and lovely. – 92pts
  • “David Ramey Cuts Loose”| Eat Drink Journal and Palm Beach Illustrated | Mark Spivak | May 2, 2017
    • The 2015 High Valley is elegant and composed, with flavors of lemon, lime and grapefruit highlighted by good acidity.
  • Wine Enthusiast | Jim Gordon | March 2017
    • This is an outstanding choice for people who appreciate a really crisp and electric white wine. Lean in flavor and light in body, this wine is bright and refreshing to sip, alive with good acidity and light citrus flavors that light up all corners of the mouth. – 90 pts & Editor’s Choice

2015 sidebar sauvignon blanc, ritchie vineyard, russian river valley –

  • Wine Enthusiast | Virginie Boone | August 2017
    • Finding wine from this vineyard site at this price is unheard of and reason enough to jump on this bottling. It also happens to taste great—a combination of melon and preserved lemon flavor, with spicy acidity and a lift of grapefruit peel and wet stone that keeps it exotic.- 91 pts
  • “25 New Red and White Wines From 6 Countries” | The Daily Meal | Roger Morris | June 1, 2017
    • Full and herbal; a little slack in the middle, but with a good zip in the finish.
  • Blue Lifestyle | Anthony Dias Blue | May 2017
    • Silky and crisp, juicy and smooth; bright and fresh, balanced and long. – 92pts
  • “David Ramey Cuts Loose”| Eat Drink Journal and Palm Beach Illustrated | Mark Spivak | May 2, 2017
    • The 2015 Ritchie Vineyard is nearly explosive: vibrant and edgy, displaying citrus flavors and ripe melon notes. Both are good alternatives to the nearly ubiquitous New Zealand version of the grape.
  • “Side Show” | Bohemian | James Knight | May 24, 2017
    • Lean and zesty, layering thyme over citrus notes, the 2015 Ritchie Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc ($34) sits on the fence between an herbal and tropical style. Ramey has purchased Chardonnay from grower Kent Ritchie for years—with Sidebar, he couldn’t pass up a little Sauvignon Blanc: “Why not?”
  • vinous | Antonio Galloni | March 2017
    • The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Ritchie Vineyard offers lovely density and
      richness. Here, too, the wine offers plenty of depth and texture. The style favors more fruit and richness over the greener, grassier characteristics that are found in Sauvignon Blanc. – 90 pts

2016 sidebar rosé, russian river valley –

  • Wine Enthusiast | Virginie Boone | August 2017
    • Made entirely from Syrah grown on two vineyard sites, then fermented and aged in stainless steel, this wine is light pink-orange in color and begins with a robust flavor of hazelnut and savory lemon peel. Dry and crisp, it remains lighthearted in the glass, finishing with a tease of grapefruit. – 91pts
  • “Wine of the Week” | Press Democrat | Peg Melnik | June 19, 2017
    • This rosé is 100% syrah, and it has aromas and flavors of raspberry, cranberry and pepper. It’s a rosé that has great quench — pitch perfect balance. Striking. ★★★★
  • “50 Best Rosés for Summer” | The Daily Meal | Colman Andrews | June 9, 2017
    • 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.
  • “Wine, etc.: Rosé is more than just French, it’s global” | Capital Gazette | Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr | May 30, 2017
    • Made from syrah, this dry California rosé is darker and heavier on the palate with big strawberry and raspberry flavors and crisp acidity.
  • “Five Wine Trends That Will Shape your Summertime Drinking” | Forbes | Brian Freedman | May 26, 2017
    • This summer, look for American bottlings from producers better known for their notable reds: The Sidebar Russian River Valley 2016, from winemaker David Ramey, is a lovely Syrah-based wine.
  • “Side Show” | Bohemian | James Knight | May 24, 2017
    • Also dry, the 2016 Russian River Valley Rosé comes from a flagging vineyard that used to go to cult Syrah, but now ripens grapes just enough for fine, crisp rosé.
  • “16 rosé wines to pop open for Mother’s Day or spring or anytime” | Chicago Tribune | Michael Austin | May 4, 2017
    • This 100 percent syrah from Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley offered an intriguing mix of hay, fennel, floral notes, dried cherries, stone fruits and zingy acidity.
  • “David Ramey Cuts Loose”| Eat Drink Journal and Palm Beach Illustrated | Mark Spivak | May 2, 2017
    • The 2016 Rosé, made from old-vine Syrah, is crisp and structured, with tart notes of red currants and flavors of red cherries.
  • “In a World of Rosé, Try These Six; Fried Catfish Optional” | Grape Collective | Dorothy J. Gaiter | April 21, 2017
    • Sidebar Cellars was started in 2014 by veteran winemaker David Ramey and his wife, Clara, who founded Ramey Wine Cellars in 1996 in Healdsburg. Sidebar wines are from different grape varieties than those used for Ramey wines. Sidebar wines are made by Lydia Cummins, who has worked with David Ramey since 2008. David is credited with doing groundbreaking work with sur lie aging. That’s when winemakers leave the sediment that results during fermentation, stuff like dead yeast cells, in contact with the wine for added complexity and then drain the wine off. This rosé was aged sur lie in stainless steel barrels for three months. “Crisp, dry and clean. Even some seashells. Great acidity, pink grapefruit, nice weight. Someone really cared about this. It’s made by someone who likes rosé,” we wrote in our notes.
  • “14 Enticing California Rosés” | Wine Spectator | Tim Fish | March 27, 2017
    • Lively yet precise, with smoky raspberry aromas and zesty pepper, cherry and cranberry flavors. Drink now.

2016 sidebar kerner, mokelumne river, lodi –

  • “Side Show” | Bohemian | James Knight | May 24, 2017
    • Sourced from a rare planting of this German Riesling hybrid, the 2016 Mokelumne River Kerner hints at its parentage with a whiff of jasmine and pineapple. The lemon drop finish is not sweet, and, wow, it’s tart.
  • “David Ramey Cuts Loose”| Eat Drink Journal and Palm Beach Illustrated | Mark Spivak | May 2, 2017
    • The 2016 (Kerner) reveals floral notes and aromas of melon and white pepper on the nose. The wine makes a vivid palate imprint, with suggestions of passion fruit tempered by pepper and spice. It will wake you up and energize you—and if you don’t have any oysters handy, it will inspire you to search for some.
  • Rameys Have Fun With A Serious Sidebar Kerner | Bottle Report | Dennis Sodomka | April 25, 2017
    • It is a rich wine, without the oak or heavy buttery flavor you sometimes get with chardonnay. It is bone dry, but has a full mouthfeel. The crispness and mineral tones keep it from overwhelming your taste buds.
  • Wine Enthusiast | Jim Gordon | March 2017
    • An apple scent and crisp, fruity, lightly herbal flavors lend plenty of refreshment to this graceful, medium-bodied and unoaked wine. It has great acidity and a dry but not austere personality. Kerner is a cross of the German grape varieties Riesling and Trollinger. – 90 pts

2015 sidebar red field blend, russian river valley –

  • Wine Enthusiast | Virginie Boone | August 2017
    • Made by David Ramey, this blend of 80% Zinfandel, 11% Alicante and 9% Petite Sirah impresses in its fruit-forward approachability and all-around likability. Earthy, it teases in dark cherry, vanilla and milk-chocolate flavors, the texture smoothly etched in fine leather. Editors’ Choice. — 90 pts & Editor’s Choice
  • Sunset Magazine | “Why You Should Put Zinfandel Back in Your Wine Rotation” | Sara Schneider | June 13, 2017
    • A new anise-spiced, tangy-berried blend (80 percent Zin plus Alicante Bouschet and Petite Sirah) from NorCal wine legend David Ramey.
  • “25 New Red and White Wines From 6 Countries” | The Daily Meal | Roger Morris | June 1, 2017
    • Rich and long, concentrated but not heavy, with raspberry flavors and buttermilky tanginess.
  • “Side Show” | Bohemian | James Knight | May 24, 2017
    • Everything you want from a barbecue-ready Zinfandel, Sidebar’s 2015 Russian River Valley Red Field Blend hits the spot with spicy, tangy red fruit smoothed out with milk chocolate undertones.
  • “David Ramey Cuts Loose”| Eat Drink Journal and Palm Beach Illustrated | Mark Spivak | May 2, 2017
    • Black plum, raspberry jam and bramble are prominent on the nose of Sidebar’s 2015 Red Field Blend. The fruit was sourced from a heritage vineyard in Russian River, an echo of Sonoma’s past. The wine is medium to full-bodied in the mouth, with ripe black fruit flavors, mature tannins and a nice spicy edge. Like the rest of the Sidebar wines, it has a firm palate imprint without being heavy or fat. You can almost taste the dust here, and the wine cries out for barbecue.
  • The Planet Grape | Catherine Fallis | March 2016
    • Softly textured and delicate with notes of raspberry, cherry, blueberry and cocoa powder. – 90 pts

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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