2017 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay
Russian River Valley
Russian River Valley
Aged 10 months in French oak barrels (40% new barrels)
100% barrel fermentation, 100% malolactic fermentation, lees stirred twice monthly
The wet 2017 winter got our vineyards off to a healthy growing season. A postcard-perfect summer followed, and then a heat spike over Labor Day launched us toward ripening and harvest, with our chardonnay vineyards all coming in September 10th to 26th. The nose of our 2017 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay is particularly lively this vintage, with fresh lemon curd leading the aromas, accented by mango, green apple, and a pretty lily of the valley floral note. The mouth is beautifully balanced, with a key lime pie combination of zippiness and creaminess, rounded out with apple, pear, and apricot, making this a crowd-pleasing wine for chardonnay fans of all kinds, and may even convert non-chardonnay drinkers. Its brightness makes a great foil for richer dished like spaghetti carbonara, oysters Rockefeller, or sole meunière.
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.