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2017 Walker Hill Vineyard Chardonnay

Green Valley of Russian River Valley

2017 Walker Hill Vineyard Chardonnay
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/ 750 ML bottle

Wine Specs
Green Valley of Russian River Valley
Vineyard Designation
Dutton Ranch - Walker Hill Vineyard
Harvest Date
September 10th, 2017
5.3 g/L
18 months in French oak (50% new barrels)
100% barrel fermentation, 100% malolactic fermentation, stirred lees
Bottling Date
May 2019
Alcohol %
Wine Spectator
Wine Enthusiast
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
Rich, citrusy, and exquisitely balanced, this vintage of one of our Dutton Ranch single vineyard sites is textbook Russian River Valley Chardonnay. With a complex nose of lemon/lime zest, the Walker Hill Chardonnay evolves into apple blossom, and almond croissant echoed seamlessly in the flavors. The mouth is generous and inviting, framed by brilliant acidity and solid structure, further amplifying this already complex wine. The finish is dramatically long, with a kiss of lemon meringue pie decadence to complete this hedonistic sip.
92, Wine Enthusiast. 91, Planet Grape.
Vineyard Notes
The rudder in crafting Dutton-Goldfield wines is our endeavor to produce wines that our winemakers love to drink. We see no more reliable assessment, and besides, it covers our downside risk. Walker Chardonnay is a wine we hugely love to drink, and owes its existence to that fact. We’ve been producing wine from the old Wente vines up at Walker since 2006 for our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, and the preponderance of the barrels still support that program. The block, planted in the early 1980s, is situated 500 vertical feet above Purrington Creek on fluffy Goldridge soil. The vines produce the tiny berries with thick skins we love from old Wente in Green Valley.
Production Notes
This wine is such a pleasure to produce, other than the 6 months it seems to always take to complete its fermentations – ah, the beauty of old vine chard. We fermented half of the Walker with indigenous yeast, and hedged our bets on the other half with M2, a favorite inoculum. We combined the indigenous and M2 lots right after fermentation to create the blend in April 2018, then went back to barrel on primary lees again until bottling in May of 2019. We vary the barrels a bit for complexity in this wine, but focus on Seguin Moreau for its ginger notes, and Taransaud for the great structure and subtle toffee flavor. Walker is all about the lively, bright fruit, so care to stay out of its way is crucial.
Food Pairing Notes
Enjoy with bold dishes like tangy buffalo mozzarella caprese salad, herb-roasted chicken, or cheese tortellini.