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Notes of ripe apple and honeydew melon greet and are delicately perfumed by notes of freesia and citrus blossom. Brighter notes of lime and Meyer lemon match the refreshing acidity of this wine, balanced by a creamy palate and leading to a finish that will continue to lengthen in the coming months. A wonderfully textured and vibrant Chardonnay displaying the best Carneros has to offer.
This powerful, dense, concentrated effort needs bottle age but is an incredibly impressive 2017. Giving up lots of chocolaty dark fruits, violets, Asian spices, and loamy soils , it has a big, mouth filling mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. Try to hide the bottle for 4-5 years, but it should evolve for two decades.
The 2017 Flanagan Cabernet has classic Cabernet notes of cedar, violets, and Christmas spices. The palate has Red and Black Current, Bay Leaf, and Tobacco. As always, the wine has a surprising amount of tannin structure for New World Cabernet. All of the Cabernet comes from hillside sites and the small berries produced from the steep, volcanic sites give the wine great color and concentration. This is a Cabernet that has the structure and secondary notes of a top Left Bank wine. Great farming, top vineyard sites, and restraint in the winemaking result in a balanced, age-worthy Cabernet.
We aged the wine in Atelier Centre France and Chassin cooperage for 14-months with 50% new barrels. The Platt site, like Grand Cru Chablis sites, is expressive of the vineyard terrior and reflective of a balanced barrel regime. I believe in letting each site express itself and that means that each of our wines has a unique barrel program and wine chemistry that reflect that particular site in a given vintage.
The 2017 Flanagan Pinot Noir Platt Vineyard is a compelling expression of what is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest vineyard sites in California. The wine has a brilliant color and the fruit character, despite the very cool site, is explosive. The nose offers a rich bouquet of ripe cranberry, cola, and a hint of spice. The palate shows very clean dark red fruit with a silky, persistent finish. Incredible acidity, a beautiful mouthfeel, and an incredible purity of fruit character make this a reference point wine.
The 2017 Ritchie Chardonnay has a very expressive nose of jasmine. honeysuckle, and orange blossom. The palate is dominated by stone fruits like apricot and fresh peach and has a gorgeous minerality that carries the wine. This is a stunning wine, from one of Sonoma County’s most coveted sites for Chardonnay and will evolve in the bottle for many years to come.
In typical bold fashion, the 2017 Audere comes out guns blazing with lots of extract, some serious tannin, and a full-bodied mouthfeel. This blend hails from ultra-premium, volcanic Napa areas such as the Pritchard Hill area, Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak, and Rockwell Ridge estate vineyard (35 feet below Howell Mountain). It is an exuberant, rich wine with red cherries, oodles of black fruits, and coffee notes. Very reminiscent of the inaugural 2013 Audere, this is sure to please even the biggest Sideways-Loving, Merlot-Hater!
With only 239 cases produced, the 2017 Russian River Valley Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay may just be the best Chardonnay produced to date. Being the second Chardonnay vintage that Phillip Corallo-Titus worked on with Ralph, there’s more acidity and balance than in previous vintages. Robert Parker’s Erin Brooks described this vintage as having a “softly, savory character” and a “long, juicy finish”. Jeb Dunnuck mentions that this wine reminds him of an old Meursault: “it’s full-bodied, ripe, and opulent, yet has good acidity.” This is a delicious wine that showcases more sophisticated restraint than previous vintages while carrying the typical elegant style you’ve grown to love. Be sure to chill it down until the lions change color, and then you’ll know you’re at the proper serving temperature!
The 2017 Signature Mountain Blend is once again a delectable representation of what our Estate Rockwell Ridge Vineyard (blended with Howell Mountain, Pritchard Hill, & Atlas Peak fruit) can produce, making this wine very near and dear to our hearts. This limited case produced wine holds its own on the Hertelendy line up. Claimed by the critics as a “beautiful wine that “...explodes from the glass”. It’s the closest wine in our program that could be called an “Estate wine” with most of the blend coming from our very own Rockwell Ridge estate vineyard located 35 feet below the Howell Mountain AVA. Dubbed by many over the years as “The Petrus of Napa Valley”, we are thrilled to get this wine from our Estate to yours.
A beautiful expression of its terroir, this wine is earthy--like a warm summer day atop Pritchard Hill. Notes of dark chocolate, clove and baking spices, rise from the glass. Fennel and black spices can also be noticed. The struggle of the mountain vines throughout the growing season yields a rewarding long finish.
The 2018 Sumo is a show-stopper. Aromas of ink, mixed berry cobbler, resin, lilies, carob, asphalt, boysenberry, blueberry, black peppercorn. The ultra silky, mouth-filling palate is broad and plush, with sweet blue and black fruit, savory black peppercorn, flowers, tar, and graphite persisting through the very end of the super-long finish.