2009 Chardonnay, Ritchie Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
Chardonnay can be rich and, in this particular case, Ramey has come up with an altogether stunning effort that does both with uncanny ease. It is both vital and wonderfully rich in the nose with a complex mix of sweet lemons, perfectly ripe apples, toast and cream and a bare hint of lees, and its deeply drawn flavors are every bit as impressive in terms of both sheer reach and careful proportion. The wine is full and fleshy with lots of seamlessly fit acidity, and its finish is as long as it is downright delicious. As good as it is now, it is certain to age into greater beauty, and it is the rare Chardonnay that comes with a must-age recommendation.