Spent a glorious weekend of wonderful Father’s Day weather outside on the patio and around the fire pit. We kept the fare very simple to prepare and wanted excellent satisfying wines to enjoy along with the food.  The two Ramey Reds were outstanding. 
With an assortment of cheeses, hummus and grilled pitas, tabouleh salad, sauteed broccoli rabe, grilled sweet fennel sausages, home made, grilled broccoli rabe sausage, and delicious, snappy, perfectly grilled Sabrett’s we opened the 2008 Ramey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.   David Ramey consults for the Snowden Family, so I was not surprised to see the shelf talker proclaiming that this wine was partially sourced from the Snowden vineyards.  Dark, vibrant purple in the glass, this Cabernet offers deep aromas of black fruits, shaley, dusty minerals, and a slight toasty nuance.  The palate is full of deep, ripe black and blue fruits with juicy ripe tannins, and a long espresso and dark chocolate finish.  Absolutely stunning wine and it quickly won the approval of our guests.   94 points, $39. 

2008 Ramey Napa Cabernet:  Ripe and delicious!
As good as this wine was, I think the second wine we opened was even better.  The 2009 Ramey Claret is stunning! It’s made from enough Cabernet to be labeled as such, but it isn’t.  It’s 91% Cabernet, 6% Syrah with the balance to Petite Verdot and Merlot.  In the glass it’s a gorgeous lovely violet-purple color. The aromas are pure crushed berries, vanilla, smoke and cedar.  In the mouth, the wine is so lively, with berries that dance, glide and coat your palate. This is absolutely delicious, with floral, dust, leather, and plummy flavors combining in symphony. Seamless.   And while not a cheap wine,  it is $10 less than the Ramey Cabernet.  I’ll be getting more myself.  I suggest you seek it out.  96 points, $29.

2009 Ramey Claret – Napa Valley Red
One final note on an accompaniement that I made for the Sabrett’s.  I saw Bobby Flay make this as I watched TV on the elliptical machine! and figured it was worth a try.  Everyone loved it.  It was a great topping for the sausages and the hot dogs.
Mediterranean Roasted Pepper “Salsa”
1 small jar roasted red peppers
1 garlic clove
2 big handfuls flat Italian parsley
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
S&P to taste
Dice the garlic, peppers, and parsley fine. Combine everything in a small serving bowl and serve at room temperature.  Takes about 5 minutes to make. Sorry, no picture, but this was outstanding on the hot dogs!
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