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2018 Ritchie Vyd Chardonnay

2018 Ritchie Vyd Chardonnay
95 Points The Wine Independent

With only 296 cases produced and barrel aged 17 months in 90% New French Oak, our 2018 Russian River Valley Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay may just be the best Chardonnay produced to date. Being the third Chardonnay vintage that Phillip Corallo-Titus worked on with Ralph, there’s more acidity and balance than in previous vintages. Our previous vintage, Jeb Dunnuck mentioned that this wine reminds him of an old Meursault: “it’s full-bodied, ripe, and opulent, yet has good acidity.” The 2018's might be the most balanced overall as we were able to get very long hang time on the vine and exceptionally ripe fruit.

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 medium to full-bodied, unfined, unfiltered, and using native yeast, it is interlaced between coastal mineral salinity, bright acidiy, and tropical notes of creamy Maui pineapple, guava, and melon with creme brulee on the long lasting finish. 

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Wine Specs
Russian River Valley
23 months - 90% new French and Hungarian Oak
Alcohol %
Wine Enthusiast
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
"The 2018 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard swans out with gregarious scents of guava, pineapple upside-down cake, and juicy apricots, leading to an undercurrent of candied ginger, allspice, and almond croissant. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers a decadently oily texture with seamless freshness lifting the concentrated stone and tropical fruits layers, finishing long and opulent. This should age beautifully." — The Wine Independent, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, 95 Points
Rich and oak-driven, this impressive, over-the-top wine is aged in 90% new French and Hungarian oak. Buttery crème brulee and tropical pineapple, guava and an opulent texture give it a complex intensity that persists in baking spice and vanilla on the palate. — Wine Enthusiast, 94 Points
"Hertelendy's 2018 Russian River Chardonnay starts out with a luxurious nose (read high end barrels) that tip it in the direction of Burgundy. If Chardonnay can be described as brooding, this seems to be in such a realm. It is quite rich, and it seems that the oak is still integrating as the markers now are toffee, baked apple, nut and wood tones. It is headed in a good direction for its chosen style. I would age this another two years before going in even though it is a relatively late release, or decant it near term. In other words, treat it like a red wine." — Rich Cook, 94 Points
Vineyard Notes
"2018 Hertelendy ‘Ritchie Vineyard’ Chardonnay- Coming from this famed vineyard in the Russian River Valley, the Ritchie Vineyard is a more than 20 year old site that is set on sandy loam soils. This is very dense and heady with layers of ripe pineapple, ripe mango, white peach and suggestions of salted Marcona almonds. Finishing very long wth saline drenched pear and minerals, this is gorgeous Chardonnay to consume now and over the next ten years. Drink 2023-2033" — Owen Bargreen, 94 Points