2019 Chardonnay, Ritchie Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Ritchie Vineyard has been called a “California Grand Cru Chardonnay Vineyard” by Wine Enthusiast. These are some of the oldest Chardonnay plantings in California. 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.
In 2019, heat in early September gave everything a little push before a significant cooling trend slowed the pace of harvest. Yields were generally average.
Harvest Date: September 4 & 13
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 François Freres & Taransaud Beaune French oak barrels, the Chardonnay was traditionally fined for clarity and texture and bottled without filtration.