Chardonnay, Ritchie Vineyard, Russian River Valley — 2020
Kent Ritchie has owned and farmed his namesake vineyard since the early 1970’s. The vineyard is located just off of River Road at the intersection of Eastside Road and Trenton Road. The location is unique because it sits on a bench at the confluence of the Russian River, the Santa Rosa Plain, and the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Each of these unique geological characteristics influences the “terroir” of the Ritchie Vineyard. The vineyard’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean exposes it to the cool effect of the coastal fog yet at the same time the site’s location allows for ample sunlight once the fog has burned off around noon. The well-drained, sandy, Goldr idge Soils are ideal for growing Chardonnay. Finally, the vineyard is planted to, predominately, the Old Wente Selection of Chardonnay which is highly coveted for its low yields and ability to produce an intensely flavored and aromatic wine.
- Vineyards: Ritchie Vineyard
- Vineyard Owner: Kent Ritchie
- Appellation: Russian River Valley
- Vine Age: 45+ years
- Clones: Old Wente Selection
- Soil: Well-drained, sandy, Goldridge Soils
Cold grapes arrive at the winery early in the morning after having been picked at night. Grape clusters are sorted by hand and gently transferred as whole clusters directly into our press to undergo an extremely gentle press cycle lasting 3-4 hours. From the settling tank, the juice is moved to 60-gallon French oak barrels, where fermentation is allowed to occur naturally using only native yeast that come in from our vineyards. Limited battonage is used during the first 2-3 months of fermentation in order to encourage the development of a healthy yeast population. Once fermentation is safely underway the wine is not disturbed until the fermentation is complete, which typically takes about 10-11 months. Final blends are assembled and gently racked to stainless-steel tanks for about 4-6 months.
- Aging: Approximately 11 months fermentation and aging in barrel followed by 4-6 months in stainless steel
- Filtration: Unfiltered
- Fining: Unfined
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
- Alcohol: 14.2%
The 2020 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay is imbued with incredible richness and density, marked by flavors of grilled peach and yellow and white orchard fruits. Ritchie Vineyard is planted exclusively with Old Wente clone Chardonnay atop Goldridge soils. The result is a wine with layers of citrus flavor buoyed by a persistent and refreshing acidity.
Ritchie Vineyards Chardonnay, Russian River Valley — 2020 – Wine Advocate – 97 Points
“Youthful tones of crème brûlée and toast give way to citrus blossoms, lemongrass and apricot on the nose. The medium-bodied palate pairs generous, honeyed fruit and a luxurious, mouth-coating texture with laser-like acidity that compels you to take another sip, and although the Arista wines generally age well, there's no reason to wait for this”
Ritchie Vineyards Chardonnay, Russian River Valley — 2020 – Wine Spectator – 94 Points
“This leans into tropical notes of pineapple and mango, with fresh citrus accents, an elegant, soft body, fresh acidity that gains momentum on the long, expressive finish, where a touch of toasted green tea and honeyed, toasted sesame lingers.”