Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Walker Hill Vineyard Chardonnay

Green Valley of Russian River Valley, California

The rudder in crafting Dutton-Goldfield wines is our endeavor to produce wines that our winemakers love to drink. We see no more reliable assessment, and besides, it covers our downside risk. Walker Chardonnay is a wine we hugely love to drink, and owes its existence to that fact. We’ve been producing wine from the old Wente vines up at Walker since 2006 for our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, and the preponderance of the barrels still support that program; but the 2011 Walker was the jewel of the year for Dan and a designated bottling just had to be done.

Tasting Notes

The 2019 season imparted a little extra luscious richness to our lively Walker Hill Chardonnay, wrapping the citrus core with a satiny texture. The nose leads with an orchard of aromas, ranging from lemon blossom, Asian pear, and Granny Smith apple. Notes of pineapple, dried apricot, and brioche provide a plush backdrop. This intricate fruit mélange and fresh/creamy dance follows through in the mouth, with Eureka lemon, kiwi, and papaya flavors interlaced with gardenia and crème brûlée. Beautifully balanced until the end, the wine finishes with ginger-lemon drops kissed with toffee.

Counterpoint the fruit and match the texture with cream sauces, like chicken pot pie or fettuccini Alfredo, or keep it simple with a grilled fish.

This wine is such a pleasure to produce, other than the 6 months it seems to always take to complete its fermentations – ah, the beauty of old vine chard. We fermented half of the Walker with indigenous yeast, and hedged our bets on the other half with M2, a favorite inoculum. We combined the indigenous and M2 lots right after fermentation to create the blend in April 2020, then went back to barrel on primary lees again until bottling in April of 2021. We vary the barrels a bit for complexity in this wine, but focus on Seguin Moreau for its ginger notes, and Taransaud for the great structure and subtle toffee flavor. Walker is all about the lively, bright fruit, so care to stay out of its way is crucial.

Alcohol:  14.1% Ta:  6.7 g/L pH:  3.29 100% barrel fermentation, 100% malolactic fermentation, stirred lees Barrel Aging:  18 months in French oak (50% new barrels) Winemaker:  Dan Goldfield Cases Produced:  261

The rudder in crafting Dutton-Goldfield wines is our endeavor to produce wines that our winemakers love to drink. We see no more reliable assessment, and besides, it covers our downside risk. Walker Chardonnay is a wine we hugely love to drink, and owes its existence to that fact. We’ve been producing wine from the old Wente vines up at Walker since 2006 for our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, and the preponderance of the barrels still support that program; but the 2011 Walker was the jewel of the year for Dan and a designated bottling just had to be done. This wine is everything we want of Green Valley Chardonnay: powerful citrus fruit and tense acidity wrapped in the candied setting of classic chardonnay winemaking. The block, planted in the early 1980s, is situated 500 vertical feet above Purrington Creek on fluffy Goldridge soil. The vines produce the tiny berries with thick skins we love from old Wente in Green Valley.

The rudder in crafting Dutton-Goldfield wines is our endeavor to produce wines that our winemakers love to drink. We see no more reliable assessment, and besides, it covers our downside risk. Walker Chardonnay is a wine we hugely love to drink, and owes its existence to that fact. We’ve been producing wine from the old Wente vines up at Walker since 2006 for our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, and the preponderance of the barrels still support that program; but the 2011 Walker was the jewel of the year for Dan and a designated bottling just had to be done.

Tasting Notes

This is a Chardonnay that is sure to win over committed non-Chardonnay fans. It’s beautifully intricate and balanced, with everything you want without too much of anything. The nose is a complex array of Meyer lemon, ripe pineapple, and apricot, with a touch of pear blossoms, toasted coconut, and cashew. In the mouth, blissful waves of lemon and key lime caress your palate, on a texture that’s the combination of lusciousness and freshness we love in the best Chardonnays. The finish is lively, long, and focused.

Seafood makes a natural choice for pairing, from smoked trout salad to crab bread pudding, as well as roasted poultry like Chicken Dijon. It’s equally versatile with cheeses, from Humboldt Fog to Bellwether’s San Andreas.

This wine is such a pleasure to produce, other than the 6 months it seems to always take to complete its fermentations – ah, the beauty of old vine chard. We fermented half of the Walker with indigenous yeast, and hedged our bets on the other half with M2, a favorite inoculum. We combined the indigenous and M2 lots right after fermentation to create the blend in April 2019, then went back to barrel on primary lees again until bottling in April of 2020. We vary the barrels a bit for complexity in this wine, but focus on Seguin Moreau for its ginger notes, and Taransaud for the great structure and subtle toffee flavor. Walker is all about the lively, bright fruit, so care to stay out of its way is crucial.

Alcohol:  14.1% Ta:  6.7 g/L pH:  3.32 100% barrel fermentation, 100% malolactic fermentation, stirred lees Barrel Aging:  18 months in French oak (50% new barrels) Winemaker:  Dan Goldfield Cases Produced:  291

We’ve been producing wine from the old Wente vines up at Walker since 2006 for our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, and the preponderance of the barrels still support that program; but the 2011 Walker was the jewel of the year for Dan and a designated bottling just had to be done. This wine is everything we want of Green Valley Chardonnay: powerful citrus fruit and tense acidity wrapped in the candied setting of classic chardonnay winemaking. The block, planted in the early 1980s, is situated 500 vertical feet above Purrington Creek on fluffy Goldridge soil. The vines produce the tiny berries with thick skins we love from old Wente in Green Valley.

The rudder in crafting Dutton-Goldfield wines is our endeavor to produce wines that our winemakers love to drink. We see no more reliable assessment, and besides, it covers our downside risk. Walker Chardonnay is a wine we hugely love to drink, and owes its existence to that fact. We’ve been producing wine from the old Wente vines up at Walker since 2006 for our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, and the preponderance of the barrels still support that program; but the 2011 Walker was the jewel of the year for Dan and a designated bottling just had to be done.

Tasting Notes

Rich, citrusy, and exquisitely balanced, this vintage of one of our Dutton Ranch single vineyard sites is textbook Russian River Valley Chardonnay. With a complex nose of lemon/lime zest, tangerine, and apricot, the Walker Hill Chardonnay evolves into apple blossom, Meyer lemon, and almond croissant in the mouth. The texture is weighty yet lively, generous and inviting. Brilliant acidity and a solid structure further amplify this already complex wine. The finish is dramatically long, with a kiss of lemon meringue pie decadence.

A bold Chardonnay like this mates with bold dishes like tangy buffalo mozzarella caprese salad, grilled swordfish, sautéed sweetbreads in a cream sauce, chicken tortellini in a garlic butter sauce.

This wine is such a pleasure to produce, other than the 6 months it seems to always take to complete its fermentations – ah, the beauty of old vine chard. We fermented half of the Walker with indigenous yeast, and hedged our bets on the other half with M2, a favorite inoculum. We combined the indigenous and M2 lots right after fermentation to create the blend in April 2018, then went back to barrel on primary lees again until bottling in May of 2019. We vary the barrels a bit for complexity in this wine, but focus on Seguin Moreau for its ginger notes, and Taransaud for the great structure and subtle toffee flavor. Walker is all about the lively, bright fruit, so care to stay out of its way is crucial.

Alcohol:  13.8% Ta:  5.3 g/L pH:  3.40 100% barrel fermentation, 100% malolactic fermentation, stirred lees Barrel Aging:  18 months in French oak (50% new barrels) Winemaker:  Dan Goldfield Cases Produced:  698

We’ve been producing wine from the old Wente vines up at Walker since 2006 for our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, and the preponderance of the barrels still support that program; but the 2011 Walker was the jewel of the year for Dan and a designated bottling just had to be done. This wine is everything we want of Green Valley Chardonnay: powerful citrus fruit and tense acidity wrapped in the candied setting of classic chardonnay winemaking. The block, planted in the early 1980s, is situated 500 vertical feet above Purrington Creek on fluffy Goldridge soil. The vines produce the tiny berries with thick skins we love from old Wente in Green Valley.

The rudder in crafting Dutton-Goldfield wines is our endeavor to produce wines that our winemakers love to drink. We see no more reliable assessment, and besides, it covers our downside risk. Walker Chardonnay is a wine we hugely love to drink, and owes its existence to that fact. We’ve been producing wine from the old Wente vines up at Walker since 2006 for our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, and the preponderance of the barrels still support that program; but the 2011 Walker was the jewel of the year for Dan and a designated bottling just had to be done.

Tasting Notes

You can tell from first sniff that the 2016 Walker Hill Chardonnay is going to be a luxurious wine. The long growing season this year gave the grapes extra time to gain maximum flavor in the vineyard. Sweet cream and candied Meyer lemon lead the aromas, followed by Mandarin orange, toasty brioche, creamy cashew, and dried mango. The mouth is soft, rich, and broad, with bold notes of lemon curd, caramel, and honeysuckle, lifted by a lemon/lime freshness.

Bold and rich dishes like meaty halibut or swordfish with an olive sauce make a great match for the wine, as well as a crisp-skinned roasted chicken, butternut squash ravioli, or a creamy and tangy sheep cheese like Bellwether’s San Andreas.

You can tell from first sniff that the 2016 Walker Hill Chardonnay is going to be a luxurious wine. The long growing season this year gave the grapes extra time to gain maximum flavor in the vineyard.

This wine is such a pleasure to produce, other than the 6 months it seems to always take to complete its fermentations – ah, the beauty of old vine chard. We fermented half of the Walker with indigenous yeast, and hedged our bets on the other half with M2, a favorite inoculum. We combined the indigenous and M2 lots right after fermentation to create the blend in April 2017, then went back to barrel on primary lees again until bottling in April of 2018. We vary the barrels a bit for complexity in this wine, but focus on Seguin Moreau for its ginger notes, and Taransaud for the great structure and subtle toffee flavor. Walker is all about the lively, bright fruit, so care to stay out of its way is crucial.

Alcohol:  14.1% Ta:  6.3 g/L pH:  3.44 Barrel Aging:  17 months in French oak (50% new barrels) Winemaker:  Dan Goldfield Cases Produced:  698

The rudder in crafting Dutton-Goldfield wines is our endeavor to produce wines that our winemakers love to drink. We see no more reliable assessment, and besides, it covers our downside risk. Walker Chardonnay is a wine we hugely love to drink, and owes its existence to that fact. We’ve been producing wine from the old Wente vines up at Walker since 2006 for our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, and the preponderance of the barrels still support that program; but the 2011 Walker was the jewel of the year for Dan and a designated bottling just had to be done. This wine is everything we want of Green Valley Chardonnay: powerful citrus fruit and tense acidity wrapped in the candied setting of classic chardonnay winemaking. The block, planted in the early 1980s, is situated 500 vertical feet above Purrington Creek on fluffy Goldridge soil. The vines produce the tiny berries with thick skins we love from old Wente in Green Valley.

  • 94

    Points

    Wine Enthusiast, March 2019

    "This white has an expert level of intensity and concentration, and plenty of length within its balanced frame. Flavors of lemon meringue, brioche and apricot are complemented by wet stone."

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2019 Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Chardonnay – Tasting Note

2018 Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Chardonnay – Tasting Note

2017 Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Chardonnay – Label

2017 Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Chardonnay – Tasting Note

Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Chardonnay – Bottle

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Chardonnay – Label

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Chardonnay – Tasting Note

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Chardonnay – Tasting Note

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Chardonnay – Bottle

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Chardonnay – Label

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