Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay

Russian River Valley, California

Tasting Notes

Our 2016 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay showcases the appellation and our vision for this wine beautifully, giving us the classic mix of lively fruit, nutty spice, creamy richness and mouthwatering freshness we love.

The brightness and richness of this Chardonnay make it an excellent match with a broad range of foods, from butternut squash ravioli with fried sage, to veal piccata, to scallops in a cream sauce, although it’s equally at home with a humble wedge of tangy Parmesan cheese.

The individual lots are barrel fermented using a combination of indigenous and inoculated yeast strains. They undergo malolactic full fermentation, and the lees are stirred twice monthly through the winter. The blend is assembled, with the primary lees, in early spring, and continues to age in French oak barrels through the summer. We at Dutton-Goldfield choose our barrels to emphasize the fruit and vineyard characteristics of the wine, rather than showcasing the oak itself. We love the ginger/nutmeg overtones of Seguin Moreau, and the buttercream components of Fouquet barrels to compliment the citrus focus of this wine. The wine is bottled in early Fall after approximately ten months in barrel.

100% Chardonnay Alcohol:  13.8% Ta:  6.6 g/L pH:  3.41 Barrel Aging:  Aged 10 months in French oak barrels (40% new barrels)

Dutton Ranch farms over eighty unique, separate vineyards located in the coolest areas of the Russian River Valley, primarily in the Green Valley appellation. Dan and Steve select their favorite Dutton Ranch vineyards to craft a wine reflecting our vision of classic Russian River Valley Chardonnay. The vineyards we choose are based on our desire to offer wines with fruit intensity, richness and great acid structure, even after full barrel and malolactic fermentation. The heart of our benchmark Chardonnay (75% between them) is our old vine (greater than 30 years), old clone vineyards located in the cold heart of Green Valley: Mill Station, Sullivan, and Walker Hill. They contribute a focused citrus backbone, lemon/lime/ tropical fruit, and mineral overtones to this offering. George Jewell and Dutton Hill provide classic, bright crystalline fruit, while our Dijon clone 95 block of JJJS, in the cold Valley by the old Dutton shop, rounds out the wine with its unctuous pear fruit and creamy mouth feel.

Tasting Notes

Our 2015 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay shows this liveliness right away in the nose, leading with zesty lime, Meyer lemon and tangerine, backed by more sultry notes of lemon oil and roasted nuts. The mouth is fresh with citrus, yet has a luscious creaminess at the same time. The initial lemon/lime hit is followed by rounder flavors of pear and green apple, along with a touch of apricot. The finish is brisk and refreshing, with a dash of toasty chestnut.

The delicious chardonnay’s bright/rich combination make it the perfect match or counterpoint to a wide range of foods, with shellfish in a cream sauce the ultimate echo of the wine’s qualities.

Since Dutton Ranch prunes their chardonnay vineyards first, they start their growing season early and were thankfully already a ways into set when the spring rains hit, so didn’t see as dramatic an impact to yields as our other vineyards did this vintage. Even so, the crop was down a bit from the previous few vintages, giving the 2015 wines great intensity. At the same time, there’s a particular focus to our whites this year that we love about our neighborhood.

The individual lots are barrel fermented using a combination of indigenous and inoculated yeast strains. They undergo malolactic full fermentation, and the lees are stirred twice monthly through the winter. The blend is assembled, with the primary lees, in early spring, and continues to age in French oak barrels through the summer. We at Dutton-Goldfield choose our barrels to emphasize the fruit and vineyard characteristics of the wine, rather than showcasing the oak itself. We love the ginger/nutmeg overtones of Seguin Moreau, and the buttercream components of Fouquet barrels to compliment the citrus focus of this wine. The wine is bottled in early Fall after approximately ten months in barrel.

Alcohol:  13.8% Ta:  6.6 g/L pH:  3.43 Barrel Aging:  Aged 10 months in French oak barrels (40% new barrels)

Dutton Ranch farms over eighty unique, separate vineyards located in the coolest areas of the Russian River Valley, primarily in the Green Valley appellation. Dan and Steve select their favorite Dutton Ranch vineyards to craft a wine reflecting our vision of classic Russian River Valley Chardonnay. The vineyards we choose are based on our desire to offer wines with fruit intensity, richness and great acid structure, even after full barrel and malolactic fermentation. The heart of our benchmark Chardonnay (75% between them) is our old vine (greater than 30 years), old clone vineyards located in the cold heart of Green Valley: Mill Station, Sullivan, Walker Hill and Rued. They contribute a focused citrus backbone, lemon/lime/tropical fruit, and mineral overtones to this offering. Morelli Lane Vineyard, planted to the Hyde clone of Chardonnay, is located high on top of Stoetz Ridge and contributes notes of floral stone fruit to the wine. Our Dijon clone 95 block of JJJS, in the cold Valley by the old Dutton shop, rounds out the wine with its unctuous pear fruit and creamy mouth feel.

Tasting Notes

The wine leads out with aromas of lemon oil, pear and apricot, with a touch of tropical mango and pineapple framing the edges. The mouth is beautifully fresh, with just the right amount of creaminess. A citrus medley of lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, and a bit of lime zest is underlain with luscious ginger crème caramel notes.

The pairing options are expansive and diverse, from crab salad to honey baked ham to a sharp Pecorino.

2014 was another generous growing season in the Russian River Valley, with picture-perfect weather from spring through harvest. We brought in our blocks for the Dutton Ranch Chardonnay over the course of five weeks, from the warmer Morelli Lane site on August 28 to the extremely cool and low-lying Mill Station Vineyard on October 1. The vintage again gave us just what we want for this expression of the appellation: bright fruit, balance, and a solid backbone.

The individual lots are barrel fermented using a combination of indigenous and inoculated yeast strains. They undergo malolactic full fermentation, and the lees are stirred twice monthly through the winter. The blend is assembled, with the primary lees, in early spring, and continues to age in French oak barrels through the summer. We at Dutton-Goldfield choose our barrels to emphasize the fruit and vineyard characteristics of the wine, rather than showcasing the oak itself. We love the ginger/nutmeg overtones of Seguin Moreau, and the buttercream components of Fouquet barrels to compliment the citrus focus of this wine. The wine is bottled in early Fall after approximately ten months in barrel.

Alcohol:  13.8% Ta:  6.4 g/L pH:  3.44 Barrel Aging:  Aged 10 months in French oak barrels (40% new barrels)

Dutton Ranch farms over eighty unique, separate vineyards located in the coolest areas of the Russian River Valley, primarily in the Green Valley appellation. Dan and Steve select their favorite Dutton Ranch vineyards to craft a wine reflecting our vision of classic Russian River Valley Chardonnay. The vineyards we choose are based on our desire to offer wines with fruit intensity, richness and great acid structure, even after full barrel and malolactic fermentation. The heart of our benchmark Chardonnay (75% between them) is our old vine (greater than 30 years), old clone vineyards located in the cold heart of Green Valley: Mill Station, Sullivan, Walker Hill and Rued. They contribute a focused citrus backbone, lemon/lime/tropical fruit, and mineral overtones to this offering. Morelli Lane Vineyard, planted to the Hyde clone of Chardonnay, is located high on top of Stoetz Ridge and contributes notes of floral stone fruit to the wine. Our Dijon clone 95 block of JJJS, in the cold Valley by the old Dutton shop, rounds out the wine with its unctuous pear fruit and creamy mouth feel.

  • 90

    points

    Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay
    , Wine & Spirits, October 2018

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

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  • 90

    points

    Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay
    Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits, April 2018

    "Here's a buttery, oak-influenced chardonnay that delivers its richness without being cloying. Instead, it has the fresh, sweet meatiness of poached lobster and a hint of celery-like greenness, ready to decant for a West Coast Dungeness crab or an East Coast lobster."

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  • 91

    points

    Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay
    N/A, Connoisseur's Guide, June 2018

    "Here is a rich, yet very concise Chardonnay that capably hits the varietal mark while giving full play to sweet oak, and it conveys a fine sense of structural solidarity without ever once seeming tight or at all constrained. If anything, it seems to broaden as it crosses the palate and gain in richness as it goes, but it is in no way a top-heavy wine and shows good energy and balance all the way to the end. It is well-crafted rendering with plenty of potential for age even though very tasty now, and it comes without strict restrictions as to the time of its drinking."

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  • 92

    points

    Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay
    Don Winkler, International Wine Review, March 2018

    "This is outstanding California Chardonnay, intense in its minerality with excellent density of lemon citrus with tart stone fruit hints on a precise, focused palate. It shows excellent balance with bright acidity and a nuanced oak treatment. Gorgeous drinking. A barrel fermented blend of old clone vineyards in the heart of Green Valley. Aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barriques."

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  • 92

    points

    Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay
    Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, June 2018

    "From a deft practitioner of the variety, this delivers bold balanced flavors of Meyer lemon, apricot and pear but remains most memorable for its salty gritty undertone of texture and minerality. Bright and supple, it's a delicious wine."

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  • 94

    points

    Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay
    James Laube, Wine Spectator, May 2018

    "Tilts toward the tart side, with a potent lemon-citrus character amid green apple and green pear flavors. Mouthwatering throughout. Drink now through 2022. 4,500 cases made."

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TRADE & MEDIA ASSETS /////////////////

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay – Bottle Shot

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay – Label

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay – Tasting Note

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay – Bottle Shot

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay – Label

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay – Tasting Note

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Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay Review History – Sales Sheet