2019 Kent Ritchie Vineyard
Russian River Valley
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Sourced from grower Ken Ritchie’s prized Russian River Valley site, this Chardonnay shows a lovely bright golden hue in the glass. Aromas of citrus, honeysuckle, lemongrass and brioche greet the nose. On the beautifully balanced palate a beam of bright acidity frames the alluring citrus zest, stone fruit and tropical flavors carrying the wine to a long, juicy finish.
"Outstanding wines. These wines are outstanding for their type and are worth the extra effort to seek out. “Bright lemon, white flowers, honeysuckle, and a kiss of salty minerality all emerge from the 2019 Chardonnay Kent Ritchie Vineyard, and while it's one of the lighter, fresher, and more elegant wines in the lineup, it has plenty of length and persistence.”
"Kent Ritchie farms a Wente selection of chardonnay at his vineyard on East Side Road, providing fruit with savory intensity to lengthen this silky wine. It’s sleek and warm, improving markedly with air, suggesting cellar time will take the pecan-and-corn phenolics into a gentle, lush integration with the Granny Smith–apple acidity. Decant it for pasta with clams."
In order to maximize quality, while providing a distinct mouthfeel and texture, the harvested grapes went directly to press as whole clusters and were gently pressed. After settling, the juice was racked into French oak barrels for fermentation. The wine spent its entire life in barrel, where it completed primary and a partial secondary malo-lactic fermentation, which preserved its natural acidity. The wine was then aged on the lees for 11 months. In order to increase richness and body, it was occasionally stirred. A generous 29% new French oak, and 29% once-filled French oak barrels were used in order to broaden the mouthfeel and balance the acid. This Chardonnay was bottled on November 4, 2020.
2019 was a remarkable growing season for most of Sonoma county with ample winter rainfall creating wet soil and cool temperatures that delayed budbreak in some areas. Spring and summer brought moderate to slightly above average temperatures, late May rains delayed flowering slightly but helped to produce smaller looser clusters that produce very flavorful and concentrated wines. The grapes from this vineyard were picked on September 3, 2019.
This prized site in the Russian River Valley has been farmed for more than 40 years by renowned winegrower Kent Ritchie. The vineyard is planted to the Wente Selection of Chardonnay, which grows on gently rolling hillsides in sandy loam soils with striations of sandstone. The Russian River Valley’s famous clockwork fog keeps this site cool, and provides ideal conditions for growing a classic expression of Chardonnay.
Aged 11 months sur-lie in French oak; 29% new & 29% once-filled.
Whole cluster pressed then racked to French oak for primary and malolactic fermentation.