TN: 2001 Ramey Jericho Canyon and a Lesson Learned... Yet Again!!

TN: 2001 Ramey Jericho Canyon: If I’d bought this bottle at Trader Joe’s as an every day drinker for $7.99, I’d have thought I’d got my money’s worth, but would not have gone back for more. There is some fruit but the alcohol quickly overwhelms, my wife refused refills after her first glass, stupidly I finished the rest of the bottle and am now committing the cardinal sin of posting when drunk!!!

Back in 2004, when I contracted my second bout of wine buying addiction, the 2001 Ramey Jericho Canyon was all the rage on Mark Squires’ Parker Board. Maybe one thread in twenty began with a glowing tasting note, and every third post in the WOTY thread included this wine. I was a little late to the party, but after countless hours scouring Atlanta wine stores I was able to buy three bottles. Did I drink them then? No, of course not, I believed Parker’s 96 point rating and a drinking window of 2008-2025. Twelve years later the wine is crap. So the lesson learned, yet again, is that if people are saying this wine tastes great now; then go ahead and drink it now!!! Don’t waste your opportunity to drink wine when it’s at its peak, the odds are very much that you’ll regret it later.

So Peter, how do you REALLY feel about this? [wink.gif]

So you’re the guy who’s trying to unload a couple cases of old Ramey cabs at the Acker auction this month!

I opened a 2004 Jaffurs Thompson Petite Sirah last night and had a similar experience. I love Jaffurs wines generally. The problem here was overripe fruit. Young, it was a huge hedonistic wine that appeals if you are in a certain mood or drinking it with BBQ or have the palate of Robert Parker. The mistake was to cellar it. It wasn’t dead but all I got was flabby viscous fruit and a load of etoh. It was nice seeing the big label on the back from The Wine Cask. Brought back good memories. I must have bought six during the annual Wine Cask Futures sale.

I recall this exact wine being rich but somewhat jammy and flamboyant in its youth. We drank a few bottles about a decade ago and while they were rewarding at the time, we didn’t feel the urge to cellar them for long. In 2008 we had the 2004 Ramey Pedregal in a blind tasting and it was the clear loser of the group for me, just overripe and overblown. Haven’t had a Ramey wine since.

Ramey is a different style winery now. The Chardonnays are outstanding, and the reds now show more refinement. If you are writing them off because of wines from the early '00s it would be good to reassess.

I think you got a bad bottle or it wasn’t stored properly. I had 3 also and took them out of storage last year. I opened the 1st and quickly drank the other 2 because they were so so good. Plenty of fruit and the bouquet was outstanding. Definately had plenty to last at least a year.

That said you got me nervous so I just opened a Ramey 2002 Diamond Mountain which I wish my wife didn’t like.

Had this 2 yrs ago and even then my experience was the same as yours. Total crap that I poured down the drain.

Huh! I’ve gone through a case of this and my experience was utterly different–lovely stuff.

Too bad you didn’t store it properly either.

I drank an 07 pedregral in 2014 that was absolutely awful! OverOaked and pure syrup. My 1st and last time with this wine!

I also had this in the past year and it was quite good. There are no great wines, just great bottles.

I guess the point I was trying to make in my op, was that back in 2004 there was pretty much unanimous agreement that this was a great wine, and that it was drinking really well right then. By choosing to cellar the wine I missed the opportunity to drink a great wine!!

Yes, it may be that other bottles of this wine have aged better than mine, but I’m kicking myself for not drinking them back in 2004, and deciding instead to take the risk of cellaring them in the hope they would somehow turn into something better.

IMHO cellaring most modern wines, that don’t have a track record for improving with age, is a crapshoot, and many of them are likely best consumed at, or shortly after release. I also think that our addiction to buying and storing great quantities of wine, works against us in this respect. It was perfectly fine to indulge this habit when traditional Burgundy and Bordeaux were made to age, but I’m afraid this may no longer be the smart thing to do.

Had an '01 Ramey a month ago. Not sure if Jericho or another SV. It was pretty good but not what I expected. Think the OP is onto something. Drink up old Ramey :slight_smile:

I was a huge fan of the 2001/2/4 Ramey Jericho’s back in the day but they did not age well for me, as noted here. For my palate, I’m not a fan of most late 90’s, early 2000 California cabs that, even if stored well, are developing new notes in today’s consumption (softer overall, less bright fruit, earthy character, etc). Certainly there are many stellar exceptions to that statement. I had a 6 liter of the 2002 Ramey JC that we consumed 5 years ago and was glad we did at the time. It was pushing it for me at the time. They are shot if you share my palate preference.

There are so many examples of wines that RMP loved, driving others to love as well, only to have fallen apart over the years. I do not blame RMP or Laube or anyone else for this whatsoever - one chooses to purchase the wine based on many factors, but ultimately, you can choose to purchase or not.

Of course, there are many examples of wines that RMP dug during that period that have not only survived but thrived with age. Folks often point to Pax 1.0 wines; or many of the Aussie wines that were written off as DOA but have actually aged beautifully.

Don’t take the stance that these wines cannot age - yes, be cautious of course, but don’t write them off without at least giving them a chance.