The 2017 Ritchie Chardonnay has a very expressive nose of jasmine, honeysuckle, and orange blossom. The palate is dominated by stone fruits like apricot and fresh peach and has a gorgeous minerality that carries the wine. This is stunning wine, from one of Sonoma County’s most coveted sites for Chardonnay, and will evolve in bottle for many years to come.
The Ritchie Vineyard is one of the most famous Chardonnay sites in Sonoma County. The vineyard was planted in the early 1970’s to a Wente clone of Chardonnay on AXR-1 rootstock. It was later discovered that AXR-1 was not phylloxera resistant and owner Kent Ritchie was told he would need to replant the vineyard. Forty years later the vineyard still produces world class fruit!
The 2017 Vintage was heavily influenced by the heat spike in late August. Temperatures in Healdsburg hit 113 degrees and, in many vineyards, the vines shut down and never recovered. Chardonnay vineyards seemed to handle the heat event better than Pinot Noir sites and Ritchie Vineyard came through in good condition.