2018 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley
Russian River Valley
10 months in French oak (40% new barrels)
The extended 2018 season gave us good maturity, sweet tannins, great depth of fruit, and nicely balanced wines, everything we want in our quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot expression. The nose leads with succulent mixed berry pie laced with baking spices. The blueberry, raspberry, and boysenberry are interlaced with pretty lilac and violet notes, along with a little redwood duff. There’s a plush feeling to the wine, even from the aromas, which is confirmed in the mouth. It has that wonderful quality of richness without heaviness, with the sweet berry pie flavors rolling out on a layer of silk.
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
Savory notes of rhubarb, beet, and thyme back up the fruit, making this easy-pairing wine great with everything from warm chicken salad and silky grilled salmon to roasted duck and braised rabbit.
93, Washington Wine Blog; 92 Planet Grape