Dutton-Goldfield Rued Vineyard Chardonnay

Russian River Valley, California

In 1969 Warren Dutton planted this scenic Chardonnay vineyard on a redwood ringed, east-facing hillside in Green Valley. Originally budded as Old Wente selection, it turns out that over half of the wood he received was a so called “chardonnay musqué” selection, which produce wines of floral, high-toned fruit aromas, and exceptionally rich mouthfeel.

Tasting Notes

Exotic lychee, always a hallmark of this wine, leads the nose, underlain with orange blossom, Asian pear compote, a hint of butterscotch, and a side of citrus. The mouth is totally mouth-coating and enveloping yet still light on its feet, with an acid focus in the middle that keeps the wine bright. There’s always a phenolic element in this wine that lures in even dedicated red wine only drinkers, showing itself in the dusky tannins that give the wine extra weight. The long, beautiful finish sings with caramel crème bruleé.

Lush and forward, this is a wine to drink now with scallop and crab dishes, or fresh creamy cheeses to match the texture and counterpoint the brightness.

The long 2016 season gave our Rued Chardonnay even more effusive aromatics, along with the perfect balance of zesty and creamy that we love in this wine.

The exceptional fruit from this old vineyard enables the winemaker to pull out all the stops and still produce a wine of great structure and fruit focus. Rued is 100% barrel fermented, and undergoes full malolactic fermentation. A large portion of the barrels are fermented using native yeast for richness and complexity, while some are inoculated with cultured strains that showcase the floral aromatics of the clone. The blend for this wine was barrel selected in April 2017, blended along with the primary yeast lees, and then sent back to barrel until bottling in April of 2018. For this special wine our signature barrel blend combines the fresh ginger and high-toned spice of Seguin Moreau Premium barrels, the structure and richness imparted by Taransaud, and a touch of Fouquet's ebullience. With the great solidity and concentration of this fruit, long barrel aging elicits a wonderful combination of lushness and complexity in the wine.

Alcohol:  13.8% Ta: 6.5 g/L pH: 3.42 Barrel Aging:  17 months in French oak (50% new Barrels) Winemaker: Dan Goldfield Cases Produced: 404

In 1969 Warren Dutton planted this scenic Chardonnay vineyard on a redwood ringed, east-facing hillside in Green Valley. Originally budded as Old Wente selection, it turns out that over half of the wood he received was a so called “chardonnay musqué” selection, which produce wines of floral, high-toned fruit aromas, and exceptionally rich mouthfeel. The selection has since been propagated across California and is referred to as the “Rued Clone.” Like all of the Wente offshoots, these are not truly “clones” but field selections propagated from preferred vineyard cuttings, rather than a single shoot in a nursery. But the clone is just a small part of the distinction of this magical place. The soil is super sandy Goldridge series, the old vines are dry farmed, impressively healthy, and amazingly consistent, whatever the weather throws at us. The berries are thick skinned and tiny for chard, and produce a wine of solid acidity, unusual minerality, an enticing depth of flavors and tremendous ageabilty.

Tasting Notes

The nose leads with a heady combination of toasty crème brulee, tangerine and a touch of gardenia. As the wine warms a bit in the glass, layers of mango, young pineapple, Asian pear and honeysuckle chime in, foretelling the complex flavors ahead. The mouth is rich and creamy, with a wonderfully decadent satiny texture. Fresh citrus, Granny Smith apple, and apricot fill out the mouth, keeping the wine lively, and providing the perfect counterpoint to the toffee notes. The lengthy finish combines fresh lime zest with a kiss of caramel, proving you can have it all.

Either creamy or zesty dishes make great pairings; we love it with lobster in a cream sauce, crab salad, or with the salty bite of aged Gouda.

As with our pinot vineyards, the wet spring weather impacted set at our late-blooming old dry-farmed vines at Rued in 2015. While our yields are down, the intensity is up, giving us a wine of particular focus, with a steely edge framing its floral and stone fruit core.

The exceptional fruit from this old vineyard enables the winemaker to pull out all the stops and still produce a wine of great structure and fruit focus. Rued is 100% barrel fermented, and undergoes full malolactic fermentation. A large portion of the barrels are fermented using native yeast for richness and complexity, while some are inoculated with cultured strains that showcase the floral aromatics of the clone. The blend for this wine was barrel selected in April 2016, blended along with the primary yeast lees, and then sent back to barrel until bottling in February of 2017. For this special wine our signature barrel blend combines the fresh ginger and high-toned spice of Seguin Moreau Premium barrels, the structure and richness imparted by Taransaud, and a touch of Fouquet's ebullience. With the great solidity and concentration of this fruit, long barrel aging elicits a wonderful combination of lushness and complexity in the wine.

Alcohol:  13.8% Ta: 7.4 g/L pH: 3.36 Barrel Aging:  15 months in French oak (50% new Barrels)

In 1969 Warren Dutton planted this scenic Chardonnay vineyard on a redwood ringed, east-facing hillside in Green Valley. Originally budded as Old Wente selection, it turns out that over half of the wood he received was a so called “chardonnay musqué” selection, which produce wines of floral, high-toned fruit aromas, and exceptionally rich mouthfeel. The selection has since been propagated across California and is referred to as the “Rued Clone.” Like all of the Wente offshoots, these are not truly “clones” but field selections propagated from preferred vineyard cuttings, rather than a single shoot in a nursery. But the clone is just a small part of the distinction of this magical place. The soil is super sandy Goldridge series, the old vines are dry farmed, impressively healthy, and amazingly consistent, whatever the weather throws at us. The berries are thick skinned and tiny for chard, and produce a wine of solid acidity, unusual minerality, an enticing depth of flavors and tremendous ageabilty.

Tasting Notes

The energetic lemon oil of the nose is accented by tropical notes of guava, kumquat and young pineapple. A whiff of jasmine and an underlay of chestnut perform a floral/savory dance, with crushed oyster shells adding a note of mineral salinity. As you dive in for the first sip, the lemon and tangerine spreads out in a creamy but gossamer light caress, providing an enthralling textural element to the wine that’s usually reserved for reds. The lingering finish of vanilla brioche is both decadently rich and super bright.

With a wine like this, you may find the bottle gone before you get to dinner, but if you do make it last, it will be wonderful with pasta or fowl in a cream sauce or light and bright fare from the sea. Try to put some away in your cellar to see how amazingly it shows with a few years of age.

The old dry-farmed vines at Rued gave us another beautiful harvest in 2014, with intense flavors at low sugars and high acids—just what we love from this vineyard. The citrus characters lead the aromas this vintage, promising the mouth-watering taste to come.

The exceptional fruit from this old vineyard enables the winemaker to pull out all the stops and still produce a wine of great structure and fruit focus. Rued is 100% barrel fermented, and undergoes full malolactic fermentation. A large portion of the barrels are fermented using native yeast for richness and complexity, while some are inoculated with cultured strains that showcase the floral aromatics of the clone. The blend for this wine was barrel selected in April 2015, blended along with the primary yeast lees, and then sent back to barrel until bottling at the end of January 2016. For this special wine our signature barrel blend combines the fresh ginger and high-toned spice of Seguin Moreau Premium barrels, the structure and richness imparted by Taransaud, and a touch of Fouquet's ebullience. With the great solidity and concentration of this fruit, long barrel aging elicits a wonderful combination of lushness and complexity in the wine.

Alcohol:  13.8% Ta: 6.0 g/L pH: 3.4 Barrel Aging:  15 months in French oak (50% new Barrels)

In 1969 Warren Dutton planted this scenic Chardonnay vineyard on a redwood ringed, east facing hillside in Green Valley. Originally budded as Old Wente selection, it turns out that over half of the wood he received was a so called “chardonnay musqué” selection, which produce wines of floral, high-toned fruit aromas, and exceptionally rich mouthfeel. The selection has since been propagated across California and is referred to as the “Rued Clone.” Like all of the Wente offshoots, these are not truly “clones” but field selections propagated from preferred vineyard cuttings, rather than a single shoot in a nursery. But the clone is just small part of the distinction of this magical place. The soil is super sandy Goldridge series, the old vines are dry farmed, impressively healthy, and amazingly consistent, whatever the weather throws at us. The berries are thick skinned and tiny for chard, and produce a wine of solid acidity, unusual minerality, an enticing depth of flavors and tremendous ageabilty.

  • 91

    Points

    Dutton-Goldfield Rued Vineyard Chardonnay
    Wine Enthusiast , March 2019

    "This is floral in jasmine and steely on the midpalate—a beautiful white wine that's balanced and elegant in approach. With a good grip of tannin and oak, it shines in sharp flavors of green apple, Meyer lemon and crème brûlée., while the richness is seasoned in nutmeg."

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  • 91

    points

    Dutton-Goldfield Rued Vineyard Chardonnay
    N/A, Connoisseur's Guide, July 2018

    "We have wondered why the wines of Dutton Goldfield were so rarely mentioned by the champions of balance and temperate alcohol during the cultural Chardonnay wars of the last several years for they are, more often than not, serious, decidedly polished wines of sophistication and depth that are not driven by high ripeness and lavish oak. This quietly complex effort adheres to the winery model, and, while not an especially bold wine, it is quite deep with an insistent, very precise fruity voice. It is a carefully made Chardonnay that reminds that balance and richness are not antithetical, and it will drink effortlessly with a wide range of foods."

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  • 91

    points

    Dutton-Goldfield Rued Vineyard Chardonnay
    , Wine & Spirits, October 2018

    "Year’s Best US Chardonnays (Full comments to come)"

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  • 94

    points

    Dutton-Goldfield Rued Vineyard Chardonnay
    Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, June 2018

    "This wine is bright in acidity, with a wealth of freshness in tones of Meyer lemon and lime. Quenching on the midplate, it develops more and more complexity in the glass, where a stony texture meets crisp green apple and fennel. Editor's Choice."

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2016 Dutton-Goldfield Rued Vineyard Chardonnay – Bottle

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