The year 2014 was a rich, ripe vintage in Sonoma County, resulting in some absolutely outstanding wines like the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs we recently tasted from Dutton Goldfield. The highly successful Dutton Goldfield winery is the product of a partnership between Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield that was launched with a handshake in 1998. Located in Russian River Valley, Dutton Goldfield sources grapes from several vineyards throughout western Sonoma County. It produces outstanding vineyard-designated Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs mainly from the Russian River and Green Valleys. The bottlings from Dutton Ranch are among their best. Steve spends most of his time in the vineyard, and Dan spends his time in the cellar. The tasting room is located just outside Sebastopol, and that’s where we tasted the wines for our earlier report on The Wines of Sonoma County.
Dutton Goldfield 2014 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Rued Vineyard Green Valley ($55) 92 Medium yellow gold. Flint-like nose with green mango, honeysuckle and shortbread notes. Focused and straight in the mouth with firmly acidic backbone and rich flavors of stone fruit and smoky oak, finishing with gusto and length. Planted in 1969 by Dutton for Rued and dry farmed on St George rootstock. Spends 15 months in 50% new French oak.
Dutton Goldfield 2014 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Walker Hill Vineyard Green Valley ($50) 92 Showing flint, lemon curd and honeycomb scents, the barrel fermented Walker Hill Chardonnay is richly flavored of toasted hazelnut, cured lemon and stone fruit with excellent acidity and outstanding length. It has an attractive focus and crispness on the palate, a beautiful wine for roast chicken. The Walker Hill vineyard was planted in the 1980s using the old Wente selection. Matured 15 months in French oak, 50% new.
Dutton Goldfield Pinot Noir Devil’s Gulch Vineyard Marin County ($68) 90 This is an easy drinking, pretty wine that shows plenty of fresh, upfront cranberry and red berry fruit and a dash of exotic spice. Nicely balanced with refined tannins. Drink with simply prepared chicken and pork dishes. The vineyard is adjacent to the Point Reyes Peninsula.
Dutton Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Emerald Ridge Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley ($62) 92 An aromatically effusive and richly flavored wine that reveals layers of showy dark red fruit and savory, earthy aromas and flavors. It’s well-balanced with good acidity, firm but not aggressive tannins, and a lingering finish. Lovely. A blend of 828, 667 and Pommard clones from an east facing knoll in the middle of Green Valley.
Dutton Goldfield 2014 Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Freestone Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley ($72) 93 The Freestone Hill Pinot Noir delivers a level of concentration and depth a notch above the other Dutton Goldfield Pinots. It has a multifaceted, fresh bouquet, firm structure, and a full rich palate that reveals both ebullient ripe fruit and savory-brambly notes, and a prolonged, unctuous finish. An outstanding wine made from fruit grown on a foggy hillside vineyard located above the small village of Freestone.
Dutton Goldfield 2014 Pinot Noir Angel Camp Vineyard Anderson Valley ($58) 91 Medium dark red. The Angel Camp Pinot Noir offers a perfumed, floral nose and red plum and dark berry fruit on a lovely, full flavored palate. There’s a hint of underbrush that emerges more fully on the finish. From a vineyard located above the Navarro River.
Dutton Goldfield 2014 Pinot Noir McDougall Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview ($62) 91 This Pinot Noir sourced from 1100’ high Pacific coast vineyards located in Fort Ross-Seaview is fresh, bright and vivacious. Showing red berries and pomegranate fruit with a touch of earthiness, it reveals good acidity and breadth on a medium weight, mineral-laden palate. An outstanding example of Pinot Noir from the true Sonoma coast.