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Red Car Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • V94
12.4% ABV
  • V92
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12.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

In 2014, we continued to harness the potential of the vineyard by creating a Chardonnay with perfume, texture, minerality, and nuance. The mouthfeel and body of this wine is opulent yet racy and has received high accolades throughout the years from wine critics and Red Car fans alike. This wine can certainly be enjoyed at a young bottle age but the rewards for cellaring the 2014 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay will be significant.

Critical Acclaim

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V 94
Vinous
The 2014 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is rich, ample and creamy, with notable depth from the 45 year-old vines. A wine of striking texture and nuance the Ritchie hits all the right notes. This is another superb wine in this range from Red Car and proprietor Carroll Kemp. Candied lemon, chamomile, white flowers and chalk meld into the super-expressive finish. This is another stand out. Sadly, the 2015 is the last vintage for this wine at Red Car.
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Red Car

Red Car Wine Company

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Red Car Wine Company, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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Red Car uses meticulous viticulture and transparent winemaking to craft wines with authentic character and originality. Combining old and new world techniques, we minimize manipulation so the fruit can faithfully express the cool climate personality of the Sonoma Coast.

Red Car was founded by Carroll Kemp and Mark Estrin in 2000 with 50 cases of Syrah from a single ton of grapes. Besides an enthusiasm for wine, they also shared a Hollywood background – Carroll as producer, Mark as screenwriter. Their intent was simple: source great grapes, make great wine and market it in an inventive, original way.

The winery name is a tribute to the electric trolley cars that ran throughout Los Angeles from the late 19th century through the early 1960’s. These "red cars" provided transportation in a romanticized time and place. We strive to make wines that are similarly memorable and transportive.

Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

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.

HNYRCRRCH14C_2014 Item# 208925