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2019 Walker Hill Vineyard Chardonnay

Green Valley of Russian River Valley

2019 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 27, 2019
6.7 gm/Lit.
18 months in French oak (50% new barrels)
Bottling Date
April of 2021
Alcohol %
Wine Enthusiast
Connoisseurs' Guide
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
The nose leads with an orchard of aromas, ranging from lemon blossom, Asian pear, and Granny Smith apple. Notes of pineapple, dried apricot, and brioche provide a plush backdrop. This intricate fruit mélange and fresh/creamy dance follows through in the mouth, with Eureka lemon, kiwi, and papaya flavors interlaced with gardenia and crème brûlée. Beautifully balanced until the end, the wine finishes with ginger-lemon drops kissed with toffee.
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.
Winemaker 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 2020, then went back to barrel on primary lees again until bottling in April of 2021. 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
Counterpoint the fruit and match the texture with cream sauces, like chicken pot pie or fettuccini Alfredo, or keep it simple with a grilled white fish.
Other Notes
93, Planet Grape; 94, Dr. Owen Bargreen; 93, International Wine Review; 4 Stars, Restaurant Wine; 90, Jeb Dunnuck