Dutton-Goldfield Chardonnay and Pinot Noir: 2015-16 Releases from Russian River’s Cool Green Valley

 Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield have collaborated in making some of the Russian River’s finest wines since 1998. Steve does the farming, and today he manages over 1100 acres of vines spread over 80 vineyards , mostly in Green Valley [shaded in green in the map below], located in the southwest corner of the Russian River Valley, which receives the brunt of cool Pacific wind and fog coming through Sonoma’s Petaluma Gap. Highly talented, UC Davis grad Dan Goldfield is responsible for the winemaking; he previously made wine at Mondavi, Schramsberg, La Crema, and Hartford Court. In this article we review some recent releases from the 2015 and 2016 vintages. 100% Fish Friendly Farming certified.

Dutton-Goldfield 2016 Chardonnay Russian River Valley ($38) 92 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.
Dutton-Goldfield 2016 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir Russian River Valley ($44) 90+ This is Dutton Goldfield’s entry level Pinot Noir made of a blend of Green Valley vineyard parcels and, as might be expected, it’s very fresh, easy drinking. There’s an abundance of red cherry fruit, good acidity, and a pleasing, firm backbone. Straightforward and delicious. This wine is a blend of eight different Russian River Valley vineyards, each separately fermented and then aged 10 months in 40% new barriques.
Dutton-Goldfield 2015 Pinot Noir Emerald Ridge Vineyard Greyen Valley ($62) 93 The Emerald Ridge Vineyard is planted to several Pinot Noir clones, each of which is cold soaked for 5 days before fermenting and then aging in 50 percent new oak, followed by blending the following spring and a return to the barriques. This is one of our favorites from Dutton Goldfield with effusive scents of red cherry and raspberry that carry over to a silky, nicely concentrated palate. It’s a wonderfully balanced wine with just a touch of vanilla oak that will become fully integrated after a little more time in bottle. Yields were down about 20% relative to 2014.
Dutton-Goldfield 2015 Pinot Noir Fox Den Vineyard Green Valley ($62) 93 The Fox Den Vineyard Pinot Noir is one of Dutton Goldfield’s finest. It’s big yet elegant with a beautifully, silky textured mouth feel and dark red cherry and plum aromas and flavors complemented by touches of pomegranate and red raspberry. It sees 16 months in 55% new barriques (RemonTrancais, Taransaud, and Rousseau), but the oak is seamlessly integrated. A big but elegant wine with a rich, long finish. The Fox Den vineyard, planted in 2002, is located on top of Stoetz Ridge, just above Occidental.

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