Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Sensory Notes: Ritchie is rightfully considered one of California’s Grand Cru-caliber vineyards, and this wine shows why. Aromas of white peach and wild flowers leap from the glass, along with hints of bread dough, Meyer lemon, apple cider and limestone. This dazzling complexity is echoed on the palate, where layers of nectarine, lemon curd, vanilla, spice and citrus flow to a long, mineral-driven finish.
Vineyard Notes: Kent Ritchie’s Eastside Road vineyard has a reputation for making some of the best chardonnays in Sonoma County. Good drainage from the sloping property, in conjunction with the unique soil profile of Goldridge and volcanic ash deposits make for top-notch grapes that display acidity and intensity.
Winemaking Notes: The 2014 Ritchie Vineyard grapes were picked before sunrise on September 4th. After being hand-sorted, the grapes were whole-cluster pressed off the skins. The hard press was separated, allowing for only free run juice to be used in this wine. The juice was cold settled for 24 hours before being racked off the heavy lees into French oak barrels, 40% of which were new. Fermentation took approximately three months, with bâtonnage occurring once per day during primary fermentation, then once per week during secondary fermentation. The wine was aged for an additional nine months in barrel before being blended for bottling.