2009 Chardonnay, Ritchie Vineyard, Russian River Valley
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“Stunning smoky reduction in a Burgundy way, with the subdued nose showing sexy iodiney minerality as the wine opens in the glass. Intensely flavored, soil-driven wine with a distinctly saline quality to its wonderfully sweet orchard fruit, spice and mineral flavors. Perhaps a bit chunkier than the 2009 Hyde Vineyard bottling but the chewy, salty, rising finish leaves the salivary glands humming. Perfect now after some aeration.”
–95 pts, Stephen Tanzer, vinous, July 2017
The 2009 vintage came close to ideal, with steady, moderate temperatures throughout the growing season, no desiccating heat spikes and no rain until all the Chardonnay had been picked. The Ritchie Vineyard was picked throughout September.
We use classical Burgundian techniques with the addtion of whole cluster pressing of the grapes. All of our Chardonnays go through native yeast fermentation in three-year air dried French and Hungarian oak barrels and then native, delayed malolactic fermentation. The 2009 Ritchie aged sur lies for 20 months in 55% new oak barrels. It was lightly fined with traditional fining agents before being bottled without filtration in June 2011.
Our Ritchie Chardonnay walks the fine line between richness and delicacy. It has a great mouthfeel that balances power and elegance.