2020 Kent Ritchie Vineyard
Russian River Valley
This Chardonnay displays an opulent, pale golden straw color and tantalizing aromas of Mandarin orange, nectarine and floral jasmine, with hints of dusty earth and ginger adding delicious underlying complexity. On the palate, it is bright and smooth, with lush layers of stone fruit, orange and lemon pith framed by seamless toasty oak.
"Complex and dense, showing tahini, lemon sherbet, tangerine and mango notes on a rich frame, with details of spice, mineral and pickled ginger on the mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2028.”
“The 2020 Chardonnay Kent Ritchie Vineyard is forward, with flinty matchstick and green apple. The oak presence comes through, along with vanilla and lemon curd. Drink 2023-2026.”
To provide a distinct mouthfeel and texture, the harvest-ed grapes were gently pressed as whole clusters. 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 secondary malo-lactic fermentation. The wine was then aged on the lees for 13 months, with occasional stirring to increase richness and body. Aging was in 50% once-filled French oak barrels. This conservative oak regime allowed the natural beauty of the wine to shine while imparting subtle toast and spice. It was bottled on December 8, 2021.
The season began with a warm winter, with no frost issues, and a mild spring that resulted in a nice, even fruit set. While the summer was quite warm overall there were only a couple of short heat spikes, which ensured that the grapes were able to fully ripen while retaining the natural acidity we love. As a result, or Chardonnay crop was balanced and healthy, yielding wines with vibrant flavors and excellent depth and energy. The grapes from this vineyard were picked on August 25, 2020.
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, providing ideal conditions for growing classically structured Chardonnays.
Aged 13 months sur-lie in French oak; 50% once-filled.
Whole cluster pressed then racked to French oak for primary and malolactic fermentation.