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Fall Release Ritchie Vineyard Chloe Chardonnay

Winemaker’s Notes

A great bottling from a Californian 'Grand Cru' vineyard, our 2005 Chloe Chardonnay is a worthy successor to the superb 2004 offering. This wine exemplifies the vintage's exhilarating balance between ripe fruit and acidity, sweetness and structure, texture and precision. Although we have worked with Kent Ritchie's classic old vine hillside vineyard since 2002, this is our first stand alone bottling and nicely complements its Heintz (Isobel) and Hyde (Clare) stable mates. The thirty three year old vines produce fruit that is direct in its intense minerality without the floral, honeysuckle nuances often present in alternative inferior Wente selections. The berry and cluster size in 2005 was slightly larger than previous years, but vine balance and the sugar/acid ratio were perfect for a Burgundian style of coastal chardonnay. In the cellar the wines rapidly fermented to complete dryness followed by drawn-out malolactics which lingered until early summer. We chose not to lees stir this vintage to preserve the wine's taut mineral-driven style and sense of precision and underlying tension. While not the largest scale Chloe bottling we have offered, this may be my personal favorite as it effortlessly blends the vineyard's natural richness with the vintage's tendency toward structural classicism.

Youthful green-yellow color. Striking aromas of wet stone, citrus blossom and hazelnut. Ripe stone fruits dominate the palate with a fresh citrus edge and ever-present minerality. Vibrant acidity and a hint of developing honey round out the extended finish. Gently decant immediately prior to serving to capture the wine's building richness and drink over 5 to 6 years. Serve no cooler than 55 degrees.

Andy Smith

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100% Ritchie Vineyard

Harvest Date

September 28th & October 1st


Russian River Valley


Old Wente

Age of Vines at Harvest

33 years

Barrel Aging

Barrel aged sur lie for 16 months in 60% new French oak