2007 Ramey "Ritchie Vineyard" Russian River Valley Chardonnay (Previously $65)

SKU #1057063

94 points Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine: "In 2007, this stunning Chardonnay is our pick of the very good bunch from Ramey. It reflects much the same winemaking hand insofar as it is firm, compact and solidly-structured with nary a suggestion of fat, but it moves to the head of the clan by virtue of its extra richness and depth. While it presently hints at stony complexity and teams generous, wonderfully continuous, young fruit with very deftly fit oak, it has a good distance to go before it fully unwinds, and to drink it before it has had the chance to age for two or three years will be to miss what is sure to be a very grand wine." 93 points Robert Parker: "The most structured and backward is the 2007 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard, which comes across as slightly tannic. Full-bodied with an earthy, rich minerality, fresh, lively poached pear, honeysuckle, and subtle smoke and tropical fruit notes, this well-delineated Chardonnay reveals laser-like clarity. It will drink well for 5+ years." (02/10) 93 points Stephen Tanzer's IWC: "Bright green-tinged gold. The richest and most opulent of this set of vineyard chardonnays, displaying ripe peach, melon and nectarine scents, along with toasty lees and a hint of star anise. Broad and deeply concentrated but energetic, offering rich orchard fruit flavors that are given spine by subtle minerality. This seamless, expressive wine is already drinking well and finishes with excellent clarity and sappy persistence."

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Price: $59.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.