Delightfully aromatic featuring wafty scents of Bing cherries, honeysuckle, baking spice, sassafras (sugary and sweet), and a dash of fresh oak. This is wonderful! A dark purple hue leads the way to a full-bodied beauty with impressive, balanced flavors of lush cherry reduction sauce, cola, silky tannins and a long, luxurious finish of vanillin.
WAYPOINT GRAPE VARIETY(S): 100% Pinot Noir Calera Clone
The Vineyards | Ritchie Vineyard, Middle Reach
Coming from the Ritchie Vineyard that sits on a hillside bench in the drop center of Russian River Valley on Eastside Road, in Forestville, the vineyard has long been lauded as a “Grand Cru” level site when it comes to Burgundian varieties. While Chardonnay takes top honors from this site, not to be overlooked are the broad swatches of old-vine Pinot Noir plantings that are among some of the best grown in the region.
We call this 70 acre vineyard the “Land of Giants,” due to overwhelming top end wine producers pulling grapes from the site. Producers like Arista, Aubert, Bevan, Dumol, and Ramey are among the legends of the business and we are grateful that Kent Ritchie granted us a small allotment of twelve rows of Chardonnay, just enough to produce a little over 4 barrels per year.
Situated directly in the center of the Russian River AVA and first planted in 1972, the vineyard sits on sandy Goldridge soils formed from an ancient seabed that have combined with volcanic ash and tuffa rock deposits to make an ideal foundation from which to grow elite level grapes. There isn’t a level piece of ground on this site as the vineyard is an undulating bowl of benchlands that lead to the Russian River. This is a place you have to see to believe.
Our Pinot Noir block of Kent Ritchie’s vineyard was planted to Calera clone selection. Widely spaced—the fashion at the time—these old vines with their gnarly trunks produce tiny quantities of grapes per vine.
Method | Open Top Fermentation, 5-day cold soak, 15% whole-cluster, 100% carbonic maceration with hand punch-downs, transfer via Gravity Flow to French Oak
Utilizing Utilizing 100% Native Yeast Primary and Secondary Fermentations.
Aging Regimen | 60% New French Oak
Aging | 16 Months | 6 Barrels