2017 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley
Russian River Valley
Aged 10 months In French Oak (40% new barrels)
Open top fermentation, cold soak, punch down
The winter rains and mild summer weather made for beautiful canopies on our pinot vineyards in 2017, helping protect the grapes from the Labor Day weekend heat spike. Two of the core vineyards in the blend were picked in late August, the majority of the remainder came in the following week, with the last few harvested by the end of September. Our 2017 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir leads with a beautiful combination of sweet berries and woodsy spice, with black cherry, raspberry, and boysenberry aromas framed with violets, redwood brush, and cinnamon. In the mouth, the wine is both silky and lithe yet firm, with juicy sweet cherry and blackberry flavors edged with cranberry and spice box. This crowd-pleaser of a wine matches with anything from a chunk of Manchego to mushroom pizza, or pasta to roasted guinea fowl or lamb kabobs.
Dutton Ranch farms over eighty unique vineyards located in the coolest areas of the Russian River Valley, primarily in the Green Valley sub-appellation. The Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir blend represents our vision for the character of this special region: juicy berry fruit in both the nose and the mouth, solid structure with fine tannins, and alluring balance. Galante, Silva, Emerald Ridge, Widdoes, Martens, and Jentoft are all in the heart of Green Valley, and each contributes a unique variation of Green Valley fruit to heighten the complexity of the blend. Morelli Lane is high on Stoetz Ridge on the western edge of the Russian River Valley and offers a bit of warmer cherry fruit to the mix. Freestone is in the far southwestern corner of the appellation, and contributes its killer depth and spice to the base notes of the blend.
The fruit is hand sorted prior to destemming then gravity fed into small open top fermenters where the must is then cold-soaked for 5 days in order to gently extract spice and fruit characters, while mitigating harsher tannins. We punch down up to 3 times daily, depending on the stage of the fermentation and the nature of the vineyard. Each vineyard block is fermented separately in order to maintain typicity, and to provide us with the most flexibility for blending. Our Pinots generally spend 14 to 20 days on the skins, according to the need of each fermentation. After fermentation, the individual lots are pressed and then racked into French oak barrels to age. We carefully blend our favorite lots in early spring. The final blend rests in barrel six months, marrying flavors and gaining complexity, until we bottle in August with minimal processing.
Food Pairing Notes
This crowd-pleaser of a wine offers versatility in pairing, matching with anything from a chunk of aged Gouda to eggplant parmesan, pasta or pizza to roasted game birds or lamb.