2010 Shop Block Pinot Blanc
GREEN VALLEY OF RRV
Green Valley of Russian River Valley
Dutton Ranch Shop Block
The super cold and foggy 2010 growing season, with virtually no summer sunshine, perfectly suited our Pinot Blanc vines (if not us humans). The minerality and lemon-lime characters really shine as a result. The wine leads with stone fruits, pear and citrus aromas, along with a touch of kiwi. In the mouth, the wine is fresh and bright, with the citrus flavors joined by Granny Smith apple, peach and wet stone, rounded out with creamy lemon curd. With its moderate alcohol, the vivid fruit carries though to the lingering fruit driven finish.
When Warren Dutton purchased his original ranch in 1964, French Colombard, Gray Riesling and Rome apples were planted at the site; in the mid-1970s, more French Colombard replaced the Riesling and apples. This is a wonderful spot for cold loving white grapes, situated in the valley of Purrington Creek, a tributary of Green Valley Creek. Here the cold coastal air lingers through the mornings and produces fruit of great acid balance and flavor concentration, while the deep but well drained Goldridge sandy loam soil grows healthy, balanced vines. When it was time to finally replant this block in 2003, the Duttons decided to try a bit of Pinot Blanc to augment the killer Chardonnay adjacent to this spot. Another native of Burgundy, and a white skinned cousin of Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc is prized for its fresh stone fruit flavors and cleansing mouthfeel. This vineyard is now completely dry farmed. As a special little treat to our best friends, DG is vinifying just a small amount of this mouthwateringly fresh Pinot Blanc.
The goal in vinifying our Pinot Blanc is to showcase the freshness and minerality of this varietal. To that end, we ferment the wine in stainless steel at a cool 50 degrees F. This retains the fresh esters of fermentation and the central core of fruit. We also employed an Alsatian yeast strain that showcases the high tone aromatics that are so inviting in this wine. We allowed malolactic fermentation to proceed part way in order to bring out a bit of extra richness in the mouth and sweet cream in the nose, but not to completion so as to preserve the fresh acidity and minerality. The wine was bottled after only five months of stainless steel aging in the cellar.
Food Pairing Notes
As always, this a perfect aperitif wine to enjoy on our porch, or paired with everything from salads and appetizers to light summer dinners of petrale sole, shrimp stir-fry, or grilled vegetables.