Reminiscent of a Batard-Montrachet, the light straw/greenish-colored 2003 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard boasts a huge, opulent, tropical fruit, roasted hazelnut, brioche, and spice box-scented bouquet. Notions of orange marmalade and citrus oil also emerge in the flavors. Full-bodied and spectacularly concentrated, it is the finest effort I have tasted from this cold climate vineyard. (RP)
Bright, pale yellow. Deep, highly complex nose melds grapefruit, pineapple, citrus skin, gunflint, light sulfides and a suggestion of charry oak. Then extremely intense in the mouth, with superb acidity giving definition to the powerful flavors. Wonderfully nuanced wine with strong mineral and soil tones. Savory rather than overly sweet. Aubert describes this as his version of Batard-Montrachet, saying it has more volume and acidity than the otherworldly 2002, which rated 96 points a year ago. I don't find this quite as tactile today but it may well be an even larger wine. (ST)
Once again, the 2003 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is imbued with the essence of salinity and minerality. The fruit is now a bit faded, with more honeyed notes that dominate, but there is plenty to admire. Orange peel, flowers and savory herbs open up nicely in the glass. The Ritchie is a bit brighter than the 2003 Lauren tasted alongside it, although it is a bit less suave on the palate. Still, there is no question the 2003 has developed beautifully in bottle. (AG)
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