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Kent Ritchie’s Eastside Road Vineyard has a reputation for making some of the best Chardonnays in Sonoma County. Good drainage from the sloping property, in conjunction with the unique soil profile of Goldridge and volcanic ash deposits make for top-notch grapes that display acidity and intensity.

The 2016 Ritchie Vineyard grapes were picked before sunrise on September 6th and September 15th. After being hand-sorted, the grapes were whole-cluster pressed off the skins. The hard press was sepa-rated, allowing for only free run juice to be used in this wine. The juice was cold-settled for 24 hours before being racked off the heavy lees into French oak barrels, 40% of which were new. Fermentation took approximately three months, with bâtonnage occurring once per day during primary fermentation, then once per week during secondary fermentation. The wine was aged for an additional nine months in barrel before being blended for bottling.

Ritchie Vineyard is rightfully considered one of California’s Grand Cru-caliber vineyards, and this wine shows why. Aromas of nectarine and wild flowers leap from the glass, along with hints of Meyer lemon, apple cider and limestone. This dazzling complexity is echoed on the palate, where layers of peach, lemon curd, vanilla, spice and citrus flow to a long, velvety finish.

Appellation
Russian River Valley
Varietal
100% Chardonnay
Clones
Wente Heritage
Planted
1972 and 2004
Yield
2.5 tons per acre
Soil
Goldridge, volcanic ash
Climate
Longer growing season with fog-blanketed mornings and evenings
Cooperage
Damy, François Frères, Louis Latour
pH
3.54
Acid
6.3 grams per liter
Alcohol
14.4%
Production
Strictly limited production, only 225 cases produced
Cellar Recommendation
enjoy this wine through 2025

2016
Ritchie Vineyard
Chardonnay