The Spring 2017 new releases from Sonoma County’s Dutton Goldfield winery include a sumptuous Pinot Blanc, vibrant Riesling, and spicy, very appealing Gewürztraminer from the 2016 vintage; a classic Green Valley Chardonnay and Russian River Valley Pinot Noir from the 2015 vintage; and 2014 single vineyard bottlings of Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Zinfandel. The 2016 vintage was excellent with exceptionally clean and flavorful fruit; yields were low overall but fruit quality was very high, and that’s reflected in the white wines we review here. The 2015 vintage was the fourth year of the drought and one of the earliest seasons on record, but fruit quality was outstanding once again. We reviewed several other 2014 Dutton Goldfield wines in an earlier article.
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 2016 Pinot Blanc Dutton Ranch Shop Block Green Valley of Russian River ($30) 91 A sumptuous nose of cherimoya, honeysuckle, and freshly cut pineapple is followed by a suave palate that isn’t quite as showy but still has great inner mouth perfume, good weight and a wonderful balancing acidity, finishing with impressive length. The fruit comes from the dry-farmed Shop Block located on Purrington Creek, a tributary of Green Valley Creek.
Dutton Goldfield 2016 Riesling Chileno Valley Vineyard Marin County ($30) 90 Showing hints of sage, lemon zest and freshly cut green apple on the nose, this Riesling reveals chalky minerals on a melon-fruited palate. A refreshing wine with vibrant natural acidity that’s still in a youthful phase. It should become more expressive with a few more months in bottle. Sourced from Mark Pasternak’s 24 year old, dry farmed vineyard in northwest Marin County.
Dutton Goldfield 2016 Gewürztraminer Green Valley Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley ($30) 90+ Offering spicy, tropical and gardenia flower scents, this nicely balanced and brightly flavored Gewûrztraminer is delicious with excellent varietal character. It’s a great pairing for spicy Thai and Indian food. The Green Valley Vineyard is located along the east bank of Atascadero Creek.
Dutton Goldfield 2015 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley ($38) 92 Scents of honeycomb, fresh yellow stonefruit, and hazelnut give a richly aromatic introduction to this mineral-inflected, crunchy, rich fruited Chardonnay from the Dutton Ranch Vineyard. It’s wines like this that made California Chardonnay world famous. Pair with roast chicken or tenderloin of pork.
Dutton Goldfield 2015 Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley ($44) 91 This is a richly flavored, well-balanced and fresh tasting wine. It reveals sweet dark cherry fruit with nuances of herbs and mesquite. This wine is a blend of several vineyards, most of them in Green Valley, each separately fermented, racked into 40% new French oak, and then blended and aged in oak again until bottling. An excellent wine from the outstanding 2015 vintage.
Dutton Goldfleld 2014 Pinot Noir Redwood Ridge Sonoma Coast ($62) 93 This is a wine of astounding purity and refinement from its red cherry scented nose to its dense flavors of pomegranate and red cherry with nuances of soil and toasted oak. Sourced from the William Wesley vineyard near Annapolis on a steep, south-facing slope just above the fog line. The fruit is handled gently, made in open top fermenters and aged 15 months in 55% new French oak.
Dutton Goldfield 2014 Syrah Cherry Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley ($50) 92 The Cherry Ridge Syrah showed a savory, somewhat reticent nose at the time of tasting, but there was nothing reticent about its rich, dense flavors of blackberry, black raspberry, and black olive. It has excellent balance and length with firm tannins supported by fruit.Cherry Ridge has 470, 383 and 877 clones planted on a south facing ridge. Cold soaked 5 days with some whole clusters and vinified in small open top fermenters and then aged 20 months in 40% new French oak.
Dutton Goldfield 2014 Morelli Lane Vineyard Zinfandel Russian River Valley ($50) 91 An easy drinking, fruity Zinfandel showing huckleberry and red plum with earthy nuances of toasted oak and licorice. It’s soft on the palate with good balance and lively acidity and finishes with excellent length and richness. From a dry farmed, head trained, century old 1.8 acre block located just north of the town of Occidental. It’s made like Pinot Noir in small open top fermenters and aged 14 months in 40% new French oak.