This article reviews the new, 2019 releases of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Dutton Goldfield winery near Sebastopol. The 2019 vintage in Northern California was cool, reminiscent of vintages two or three decades ago. At least until the Kincade fire erupted on October 23. But by that time Chardonnay and Pinot Noir had been harvested. And, in any case, the Dutton Goldfield vineyards in the Green Valley and other far west parts of Sonoma and Marin counties are distant from the Kincade fire in Alexander Valley.
We’ve reviewed Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield’s wines on a regular basis. Their 2018 Chardonnays were included in our recently released California Chardonnay: Terroir & Winemaking in Sonoma, and we reviewed the 2018 vintage Pinot Noirs in an article published about a year ago. Several other reviews of their wines can be found in our blog at iwinereview.com/blog and in our earlier report on The Wines of Sonoma County.
The International Wine Review regularly reviews wines from all of California’s premier winegrowing sites with a special focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, including the places where Dutton Goldfield sources grapes for the wines reviewed here: the Russian River Valley, Green Valley, the West Sonoma Coast, and Mendocino’s Anderson Valley. In addition to articles published on our blog, IWR publications with particular emphasis on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir include in-depth reports on The Santa Rita Hills, the Anderson Valley, the West Sonoma Coast, Santa Barbara County, the Santa Lucia Highlands, Los Carneros, and Sonoma County.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Chardonnay Devil’s Gulch Vineyard Marin County ($55) 94 The Devil’s Gulch Chardonnay from a site in western Marin County overlooking the Point Reyes National Seashore is always one of our favorite California Chardonnays, and the 2019 vintage is no different. Starbright, light gold in color, it shows hints of citrus, fresh nectarine, and spice on the nose. The palate is surprisingly creamy with notes of lemon curd, crème brûlée, and hints of yellow pit fruit. There’s mouthwatering bright acidity and a lovely, lingering finish. From a windswept, steeply sloped vineyard near Point Reyes National Seashore planted by Mark Pasternak in 1980 where blustery weather creates very low yields of tiny berries. One-third malo (the barrel portion) and aged 10 months in 67% stainless steel and 33% neutral French oak. 13.8% alc
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Chardonnay Rued Vineyard Dutton Ranch Green Valley of Russian River Valley ($55) 93 More softly textured than the Devil’s Gulch Chardonnay, the Rued Chardonnay comes from a vineyard planted in 1969 by Warren Dutton and home to what is known as the musque-like Rued clone. It reveals spicey, ripe orchard fruit, and chalky minerals on the nose and a silky, refined mouth feel. Superbly balanced with perfectly integrated oak and a nice long finish. The wine is barrel fermented, goes through full malo, and is aged 18 months in 50% new French oak.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Chardonnay Walker Hill Vineyard Dutton Ranch Green Valley of Russian River Valley ($50) 93 Very fragrant with lemon and a hint of quince on the nose. Lovely finesse and good density on a rich palate with a continuation of the lemon citrus theme and a slightly honeyed edge. Finishes firm with a stone-like note. The Walker Hill Vineyard sits at 500′ above Puffington Creek with fluffy Goldridge soils; it was planted in the early 1980s to the thick skinned, old Wente clone on ARX rootstock; no problems with phylloxera to date. All barrel fermented, full malo and matured 18 months in 50% new French oak. 14.1% alc.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Emerald Ridge Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley ($74) 93 Medium ruby red. Effusive, pure red fruit with a spicy cedar note on the nose. Proceeds to a clean, pure, fruit driven palate complemented by a sauvage element. A well-made, superb balanced wine with excellent length and freshness on the finish. From a vineyard located on an east facing knoll just outside Graton in Green Valley. Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak. 13.7% alc.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Pinot Noir Angel Camp Vineyard Anderson Valley ($74) 94 High-toned cherry/berry nose with earthy/savory and sweet oak spice accents. Alluring, silky palate, perfumed and bright with flavors that mirror the bouquet. Very good length and rich, fresh extract on the finish.The Angel Camp Vineyard is located west of Philo on a knoll overlooking the Navarro River. Clones 828, 667 and Pommard cofermented and aged 17 months in 50% new French oak. 14.1% alc.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Pinot Noir Azaya Ranch Vineyard Petaluma Gap ($65) 93 Intricate savory aromas complemented by notes of dark rose petals and red berries. The texture in the mouth is silky with beautifully integrated flavors that evoke dark red berries, pomegranate, dried garden herbs, and damp earth. Ends with a mouth coating finish. Made from all destemmed grapes, cold soaked for 7 days, open top fermented, and matured in 50% new Seguin Moreau and Taransaud barrels for 17 months. The Azaya vineyard was planted by Mark Pasternak to several clones, mostly Dijon, on south and west facing slopes in Hicks Valley in western Marin.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Pinot Noir Deviate Sonoma Coast ($78) 94 Deviate, sourced from two vineyards at opposite ends of the West Sonoma Coast, is a polished wine that begins with restrained perfume of dark red berries and French oak. It’s vibrant on the attack and silky in texture with a firm backbone, Dense but refined, Deviate is always one of our favorites. A blend of two vineyards, one (Jentoft) in Green Valley and the other (Putnam) near Annapolis. Aged 17 months in 55% new French oak. 14.2% alc.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Pinot Noir Devil’s Gulch Vineyard Marin County ($78) 93 Pure dark red fruit with oak spice on the nose. Spicy yet silky in the mouth with notes of pomegranate, and black raspberry with blueberry and herbal notes, all wrapped in sweet vanilla oak. Finishes lively, long and pure. Sourced from Mark Pasternak’s vineyard in far western Marin County just off Point Reyes National Seashore. All Dijon clones. Aged 16 months in 50 % new French oak. 13.8% alc.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Pinot Noir Docker Hill Vineyard Mendocino County ($74) 93 Savory, herbal, earthy nose with dark fruit underneath. Layered, semi-unctuous and well balanced palate showing great fruit intensity with good grip. Cherry compote notes persist on a long, flavorful finish. From a 1000’ high vineyard (above the fog line) planted in 2010 located southeast of the city of Mendocino. Aged 17 months in French oak (45% new). 14.1% alc.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley ($45) 93 The Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir is essentially a Green Valley appellation blend. It reveals dark fruit with earthy spice on the nose. The palate is well fruited with elements of tart cherry and pomegranate with savory notes. There’s lively acidity and a silky mouth feel with good grip. A blend of fruit from ten Russian Valley Vineyards, mostly located in the cool Green Valley. Each vineyard lot is hand sorted, destemmed, cold soaked for 5 days, open top fermented and matured 4 months in 40% new French oak, blended, and then matured an additional 6 months in French oak. 13.5% alc. Excellent value.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Pinot Noir Fox Den Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley ($74) 92 Located on top of Stoetz Ridge just above Occidental, the Fox Den Vineyard produces beautiful, pure red fruit. There’s good intensity of fruit on a softly textured, open and broad palate. Nice, easy drinking. Sourced from the 8 acre Fox Den vineyard, planted by Dan and Steve in 2002. Matured in 55% new French oak barrels for 17 months. 14.1% alc.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Pinot Noir McDougall Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview ($68) 95 A Pinot Noir of real character from a high elevation vineyard overlooking the Pacific. There’s a stony mineral like character to the bouquet with subtle dark cherry components. It reveals elegance and subtlety on the palate with a good tannin structure that augurs for a bit of cellaring prior to drinking. Very, very long, rich and dense finish. A stunner! Sourced from the 1100’ high McDougall Vineyard, destemmed, cold soaked, open top fermented, and matured 16 months in 50% new French oak.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Pinot Noir Redwood Ridge Sonoma Coast ($74) 94 The Redwood Ridge Pinot Noir is sourced from the cool, wet highlands of Annapolis where small vineyards are encircled by tall Redwoods. Distinctive fruit combined with expert winemaking yields this characterful, dark fruited wine. The nose shows spicy, dark berry fruit followed by a brooding but refined palate with big, dark fruit intensity. Grippy with edgy tannins, it’s a wine that should stimulate dinnertime, wine conversation. Sourced from the above-the-fogline, hillside Putnam vineyard at 1000′ elevation near Annapolis in the cool climate, West Sonoma Coast. Aged 18 months in 50% new French oak. 14.1% Alc.
Dutton Goldfield 2019 Pinot Noir Van Der Kamp Vineyard Sonoma Mountain ($72) 93 The terroir of Sonoma Mountain, where this wine comes from, is very different from that of the Green Valley where most Dutton-Goldfield Pinots are sourced. But the wine shows a resemblance to others in the portfolio with refinement combined with excellent flavor intensity. Dark fruit and cooking spice show on the nose, followed by intense dark cherry/berry on a high-toned palate. There’s excellent focus and purity as well as outstanding length. Sourced from the Van Der Kamp property at 1400′ on top of Sonoma Mountain. Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak. 14.1% alc.