2018 Chardonnay, Ritchie Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Ritchie Vineyard is widely spaced, as was the fashion in the early ‘70s. These old, gnarly trunked vines produce small clusters with distinct “hen and chick” berry sizes.We’ve worked with the same block of Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay since 2002. The floral character of the small portion of Musqué lends an aromatic lift while the Old Wente provides structure and acidity.
The 2018 season was exemplary. Spring was drier than in 2017, and after two years of poor set, consistently mild weather led to good berry set. Higher cluster counts than the low yielding years of 2015-2017, coupled with cooler late summer temperatures, brought longer hang times with harvest dates up to two weeks later than the previous vintage.
Harvest Date: September 20
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 25% new François Freres & Taransaud Beaune French oak barrels, the Chardonnay was traditionally fined for clarity and texture and bottled without filtration.