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2008

Chardonnay

Ritchie Vineyard
Russian River Valley

The old vines of Ritchie Vineyard produce an intriguing, complex chardonnay that achieves a fine balance of intensity and elegance. Pale yellow with a touch of green, it exhibits an exotic nose of stone fruit and spice accented with tropical notes of guava and passion fruit. A firmly structured, steely palate provides the backbone around which layers of fresh apple, Asian pear and toasted brioche wrap themselves seamlessly. Notes of custard persist, accented with ginger and clean slate over a memorable finish. Alcohol 14.6%

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92 points Wine Advocate

“Elegant white peach, honeysuckle, orange marmalade and white currant aromas intermixed with earthy undertones are followed by a crisp, medium to full-bodied, impressively ripe white wine. Drink it over the next several years.”
Robert Parker Jr.

92 points International Wine Cellar

“Vivid yellow. Vibrant, exotically perfumed nose offers orange marmalade, nectarine and a livelier note of lemon zest. Tight and high-pitched on entry, then gains flesh and depth in the middle palate, offering lush pit fruit and lemon custard qualities. Distinctly rich chardonnay, but nervy acidity gives brightness and energy to the fruit. Finishes with building minerality and very good persistence. ”
Josh Raynolds

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Harvest Date September 5 & 20

Growing Season 2008 began with an exceptionally dry spring and early budbreak. Frosts in April significantly lowered cluster counts. Weather stabilized and warmed through summer, with warmer temperatures continuing through harvest. A smaller crop of high quality fruit was able to ripen fully and evenly, developing an excellent balance of sugars and acid. Overall, the 2008 wines are bright and expressive with well-articulated flavors.

Winemaking

• Hand-harvested grapes
• Whole cluster, direct to press, cold
• Barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts; 4 months to completion
• Concurrent spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrels
• Aged 12 months in French oak barrels; 65% new
• Aged sur lies; biweekly bâtonnage
• Unfined and unfiltered; bottled January 2010

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