2017 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay
91 Points Robert Parker
With only 239 cases produced and barrel aged 17 months in 90% New French Oak, our 2017 Russian River Valley Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay may just be the best Chardonnay produced to date. Being the second Chardonnay vintage that Phillip Corallo-Titus worked on with Ralph, there’s more acidity and balance than in previous vintages. Robert Parker’s Erin Brooks described this vintage as having a “softly, savory character” and a “long, juicy finish”. Jeb Dunnuck mentions that this wine reminds him of an old Meursault: “it’s full-bodied, ripe, and opulent, yet has good acidity.” This is a delicious wine that showcases more sophisticated restraint than previous vintages while carrying the typical elegant style you’ve grown to love. Be sure to chill it down until the lions change color, and then you’ll know you’re at the proper serving temperature!
Similar to previous vintages, it is still unfined, unfiltered, and using native yeast, but the difference is that in this vintage, Phillip brought that modern Napa style into this process and introduced a brighter acidity and different style of complexity than Ralph had in year’s past. Medium to full-bodied, it offers a dichotomy between minerally notions and buttery, creamy character, with just enough freshness on the finish.