2016 Chardonnay, Ritchie Vineyard, Russian River Valley
2016 began with another very early bloom, leading to a very early harvest in Sonoma County; our first fruit arrived August 5. During maturation, summer temperatures were warm and steady, with fewer heat spikes than 2015. Three weeks of cool weather in August and September relaxed the pace of harvest, allowing for methodical picking decisions and perfectly developed fruit. Yields were relatively average – down from 2014 and up from 2015.
We gently press whole clusters for phenolic delicacy. Native yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. After aging 20 months in 20% new French oak barrels (Taransaud Beaune), this Chardonnay was fined and settled in tank. It was then bottled without filtration.
Our Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay walks the fine line between richness & delicacy. It has a complex and harmonious mouthfeel that balances power with elegance.