2016 Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
The 11th Acre
Buckle up Chard fans! This is the first, and may as well be the only sentence you’ll ever come across featuring the words Ritchie and discount in the same context. This also marks our first feature from the famous Ritchie Vineyard. Scores in the 95-100 range are nothing new to this “California Grand Cru” site. Aubert, DuMOL, Ramey, Bevan, have all paid homage to the profoundness of Ritchie with Chardonnays that easily average $100+ per bottle.
Brilliant, vibrant gold with the mildest grass green hue as it radiates around the glass. Ripe pear, fig, citrus, and honeysuckle, with judicious oak nuances of toast, and anise define the borderline exotic perfume. The palate layers remarkable depth and integration, slowly unfolding to vanilla, corn, butter, and spice. Intense and utterly long on the massive finish, with complex lemon pith and hazelnut carrying a crescendo of aroma and flavor. Lavish seafood dishes, with cream and butter aplenty, will elevate this stunning white to new heights.
Accolades come easy for Ritchie. How about the winemaking here? Michael Zardo leads the operations at the prestigious Gravity Wine House custom crush in Sonoma County. It’s no coincidence that this facility is owned by Jeff Pisoni, as Zardo honed his craft through a seven-year stint at Pisoni Vineyards down in Santa Lucia Highlands. Additionally, the Ten Acre project is brought to us by the proprietors of another Wine Spies favorite, Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves!
All these facts make this Ritchie the HOTTEST Chardonnay deal we’ve seen in a long time, a 96-pointer at about HALF OFF we fear won’t last the day…
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
96 Points – PinotFile - “I recently wrote a glowing feature on Ten Acre Winery Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay so I was intrigued enough to meet winemaker Michael Zardo in person in early August and taste his current releases. Sourced from an old vine block previously used by Mark Aubert along with a young vines block. There are probably Ritchie, Hyde and Muscat clones in the vineyard. The aromas of citrus, stone fruits and brioche leap from the glass - Wow! Perfectly balanced and sleek in style, with dreamy flavors of lemon and white peach. One doesn’t think of oak when sampling this beauty. Extraordinary. An exceptional wine of great breeding and a highly recommended purchase.”
92+ Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate - “The 2016 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard offers up expressive lemon pie, pineapple and pink grapefruit notes with touches of struck match, baker’s yeast and shaved almonds. Medium to full-bodied, elegantly styled and with loads of mineral notions coming through, it has a racy line and a long, toasty finish. 226 cases produced. Drink 2018-2027.”
Brilliant, vibrant gold with the mildest grass green hue as it radiates around the glass.
Ripe pear, fig, citrus, and honeysuckle, with judicious oak nuances of toast, and anise.
Remarkable depth and integration, slowly unfolding to vanilla, corn, butter and spice.
Intense and utterly long, with complex lemon pith and hazelnut carrying a crescendo.
Lavish seafood dishes, with cream and butter aplenty, will elevate this stunning white.
What the Winery Says
- Michael Zardo
- 100% Chardonnay
- Russian River Valley
- Ritchie Vineyard
- Vine age
- Planted in 1972
- Sandy Goldridge mixed with deposits of volcanic ash
- 2.5 tons/acre
- Old Wente Heritage
- Total acidity
- 6.3 g/L
- 12 months
- 40% new French oak (Damy, François Frères, Louis Latour)
- 9 barrels