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2017 Ritchie Vyd Chardonnay

2017 Ritchie Vyd Chardonnay
92 Points Wine Enthusiast

With only 239 cases produced and barrel aged 19 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” while 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 sophistication than previous vintages while carrying the typical elegant style you’ve grown to love. Similar to previous vintages, it is barrel fermented using native yeast with 100% malolactic fermentation and batonnage. It is also unfined and unfiltered, but the difference is that in this vintage, Phillip introduced that modern Napa style into this process highlighting a brighter acidity and different style of complexity. Medium plus to full-bodied, it offers a dichotomy between tropical minerality and creamy mouthfeel with plenty of crème brûlée on the finish.

Be sure to chill it down until the lions change color, and then you’ll know you’re at the proper serving temperature!

Label Changes Color!
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Wine Specs
Russian River Valley
23 months - 90% new French and Hungarian Oak
Alcohol %
Wine Enthusiast
Robert Parker
Wine Advocate
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
Given 17 months of barrel aging in 90% new French oak, this is a hearty, full-bodied and lushly rich white from the famous site. Deli meat, toasted oak, honeycomb and brioche dot a landscape of full-figured intensity and ample concentration. — Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, 92 Points
"The 2017 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard was barrel fermented with 100% malolactic fermentation and lees stirring, and it was aged 19 months in 100% new French oak. It has restrained scents of yellow apples, bruised quince, wet hay, mushroom, banana chip and honeysuckle with touches of toast and cream. Medium-bodied, it has a silky texture and understated, softly savory character with a long, juicy finish laced with sweet spices. 239 cases produced." — Erin Brooks, Robert Parker Wine Advocate, 91 Points
"Big on ripeness, big on oak and big on both aroma and flavor, here is a nicely developed Chardonnay that successfully goes for richness. It stands in contrast to its leaner, more briskly balanced cousins that have become the fad of late and is a wine that reminds that those who fancy buttery, full-volume versions still have very good, deeply satisfying wines made in their favorite style from which to choose. It will not fade away soon, but it is now at its peak and ready to take its place at the table with entrees ranging from lobster to duck and lighter white meats that beg for pairing with a richer and riper, plentifully filled Chardonnay." — Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, 91 Points