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Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2008

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WS93
  • RP92
14.5% ABV
  • RP95
  • WE95
  • WS90
  • WS94
  • RP93
  • WE97
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • CG91
  • WS93
  • CG94
  • RP93
  • WS95
  • CG94
  • RP91
  • RP95
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Situated directly in the center of the Russian River appellation, our block of Kent Ritchie's vineyard was planted in 1972 to the old Wente selection. Widely spaced—the fashion at the time—these old vines with their gnarly trunks produce tiny quantities of grapes per vine. The benchland soil is pure Goldridge Loam, common to great vineyards in this part of the Russian River Valley.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
Delivers a tight, taut laser beam of flavors, riding lively acidity that carries the green apple, pineapple, citrus and honeydew melon notes. Gains depth and velocity, and is built to gain even more with cellaring. Drink now through 2016. 1,290 cases made.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The medium to full-bodied 2008 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard offers scents of pineapples, pears, honeysuckle and subtle spicy oak. With good power, density and richness, it should drink nicely for 4-5 years.
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Ramey
Ramey, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
2008 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay
Following winemaking posts at Rudd, Dominus, Chalk Hill and Matanzas Creek, David Ramey and his wife, Carla began their own label in 1996 - a Chardonnay from the Hyde Vineyard. Now situated in downtown Healdsburg, Ramey Wine Cellars draws on exceptional vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma to fashion classically-styled Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay using traditional old world techniques.

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, The Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river which flows through the region. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, further from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

PBC9135798_2008 Item# 110110

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