2016 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay
Russian River Valley
Russian River Valley
Aged 10 months In French Oak (40% new barrels)
100% barrel fermentation, 100% malolactic fermentation, lees stirred twice monthly
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 nose leads with round yet focused aromas of pear, lemon oil, brioche, and roasted chestnuts. Delicate lily of the valley floral hints weave their way through, adding a pretty touch. The mouth is full of rich decadence while retaining its core of bright acidity, like a key lime crème brulee. Flavors of green apple, mango, apricot, and Eureka lemon are accented by toasted hazelnuts and toffee.
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.
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.
Food Pairing Notes
This interplay of brightness and richness 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.