Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
Bold, rich and expressive, layered and complex, offering tiers of ripe citrus and lemon peel, pear and melon, with touches of hazelnut and spice. Ends with a rich, smoky butterscotch flavor that gives this added dimension. Drink now through 2015.
The 2008 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard comes from 30+ year old vines of the Old Wente clone, which was apparently a suitcase clone taken from Louis Latour's parcels in Corton-Charlemagne, just north of Beaune. It exhibits a beautiful honeyed citrus, nectarine, crushed rock, honeysuckle and tropical fruit blossom-scented bouquet, terrific stuffing, good acidity and wonderful density as well as richness. Because of the tiny yields in that vintage, the 2008s tend to be more concentrated than the 2009s, which are more elegant, lower in alcohol and not quite as dense.
Deep, slightly hazy yellow. Vibrant aromas of orange rind, dried lemon, crushed stone and floral oils. Round, sweet and lush but with a firm spine of acidity providing shape. The wine's sexy sweetness and fruit intensity are nicely counterpointed by a saline minerality. More opulent than the Lauren but perhaps not quite as gripping on the finish.