Our seventeenth consecutive bottling from the majestic old vines of Ritchie Vineyard is among the most memorable, as one would expect given the incredible quality of this magical vintage. The wine walks a delicate line between power and finesse, opulence and focus, offering a deep succulence that is typical of this heralded vineyard, farmed with great dedication and pride by the local legend that is Kent Ritchie himself.
It’s our most “California-styled” Chardonnay each year: forward, generous and broad. Sheer deliciousness is its calling card. That’s not to say it’s overblown, however, as the loose-textured, airy, volcanic white pumice stone soils bring great vibrancy and energy to the wine’s long, expansive finish.
The wine shows aromas of orange blossom, mixed stone fruits and honeysuckle. Thyme leaf, wet stone and almond paste notes lend complexity. The palate is immediately broad and mouth-filling with tangerine oil and orange sherbet flavors. The wine’s center is rich in extract—deep and almost chewy. It finishes with mineral signatures and a lingering citrus zest note.
Ritchie is typically our lowest-acidity Chardonnay each vintage, so it’s the designate to open and drink first. While I expect the wine to improve in bottle for 4–6 years, I think its greatest charm is found in its fruit-driven power and density. Drink between late 2019 and 2023.
AUGUST 31ST & SEPTEMBER 2ND
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
Age of Vines at Harvest
AGED 12 MONTHS IN 33% NEW FRENCH OAK BARRELS FROM TONNELLERIE DE MERCUREY FOLLOWED BY SIX MONTHS SETTLING IN TANK
724 CASES OF 750ML
16 CASES OF 1.5L
16 BOTTLES OF 3L
The 2017 Chardonnay Chloe Ritchie Vineyard is beautifully floral and perfumed, with soaring aromatics and racy, layered fruit. There is plenty of depth, but in this range, the Ritchie stands out for its lifted, gracious feel and exceptional balance.
95/100 Vinous, June 2020