I thought a nice bottle of wine would console me after a terrible week, so I went California (I'm in a bit of a rut after Napa...). My wife also loves California, and was returning from a business trip, so the 2002 Ramey Claret sounded like a good choice.
The wine was a nice deep cherry red, with some brick red at the edges. The nose was very nice: scents of rose, strawberry, orange, pine, earth, leather, pepper, green tea, cocoa, hazelnut and wet stones. Overall, wonderful strawberries and leather up front,with an interesting diversity of aromas.
On the palate it was medium bodied, rich and velvety with supple tannins and a slight rusticity. Very well-balanced, it was more oaky than fruity, but elegant. Decent length, this wine will probably improve, but is nice today. (It reminds me of a "Baby Dominus") Depsite the high alcohol, it is not noticeable on the nose or palate. Overall, excellent winemaking - exuberant and restrained at the same time, should soften up over time, nicely done.