Fall ReleaseRitchie Vineyard Chloe Chardonnay
2018

Winemaker’s Notes

Our new vintage of Chloe—from the old vines at Ritchie Vineyard—reminds me of the wonderful 2015 bottling. As usual, it is the broadest, richest and most Californian of our four classic Sonoma County-designate Chardonnays. Its intrinsic vineyard-derived power and deep resonance come from low-yielding old vines planted in shallow marine-based soils with just the right amount of clay to lend body and roundness. 

At harvest, we press these thick-skinned grapes especially slowly, to capture  every last drop of natural fruit extract that seems to rise from the deep vine roots themselves, through the sap and into the chewy skins. This high level of “dry extract” creates the density and richness we observe in the wine each year.

The wine’s aromas are bright and expansive with yellow peach, nectarine and white flowers. A suggestion of flint and spearmint adds detail. Viscosity and opulence are immediate on the palate with tangerine oil, honeycomb and candied ginger richness. On the deep midpalate, the wine’s texture builds effortlessly: lemon oil, apricot and quince paste. Befitting this structured vintage, the wine is quite chiseled with precise, balancing acidity and flavors of grapefruit pith on the finish. Drink between late 2020 and 2026 without over-chilling; I think 60° F is the perfect temperature to allow the wine’s full intensity to shine. Bottled unfiltered.

Andy Smith


Ritchie Vineyard Chloe Chardonnay  - DuMOL

Vineyard

Harvest Date

september 13th & 22nd

Appellation

Russian River Valley

Clones

Old Wente

Age of Vines at Harvest

46 years

Barrel Aging

aged 12 months in 36% new french oak barrels from tonnellerie mercurey followed by six months settling in tank.

Production

720 cases of 750mL
16 cases of 1.5L
16 bottles of 3L

Press

96 Jeb Dunnuck, May 2020
95 Wine Advocate, July 2020