Thursday, March 18, 2010

Napa and Sonoma trip: Dutton-Goldfield Winery

After a nice lunch in Forestville, we met Valerie Wathen from Dutton-Goldfield at the winery's tasting room that it currently shares with Balletto Vineyards on the outskirts of Santa Rosa.

Dutton-Goldfield is the partnership of grapegrower Steve Dutton, a fifth generation farmer in the Russian River Valley, and winemaker Dan Goldfield. The winery's main focus is to produce cold-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and also a bit of Zinfandel, Syrah and Pinot Blanc. Most of the fruit is sourced from the various vineyards of Dutton Ranch in the Russian River Valley AVA

Russian River Valley AVA

With Valerie, we tasted the following wines:

• 2007 Dutton-Goldfield Chardonnay Dutton Ranch: a blend of five Dutton Ranch vineyards from the coolest part of Russian River Valley. My notes: ripe apple and pear on the nose, creamy and lush on the palate with some good acidity, elegant finish.

• 2007 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch: a blend of five Dutton Ranch vineyards from the Russian River Valley. My notes: sweet and spicy cherry aromas on the nose, bright and fruity on the palate, earthy finish.

• 2007 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Freestone Hill Vineyard: farmed by the Dutton family, the Freestone Hill Vineyard overlooks the tiny town of Freestone located between Sebastopol and Bodega Bay. This cold-climate wine is bottled separately only in years when the fruit stands out as truly unique. My notes: exotic spices on the nose. On the palate, herbs and licorice flavors, very distinctive.

• 2007 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Devil's Gulch Vineyard: located on a steep hillside near the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, the Devil's Gulch Vineyard is farmed by local grower Mark Pasternak, a viticultural pioneer in Marin County. My notes: deep color, red and black berry aromas on the nose, rich and complex on the palate, lingering finish.

• 2007 Dutton-Goldfield Zinfandel Morelli Lane Vineyard: planted with Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Morelli Lane Vineyard lies just north of the town of Occidental in the Russian River Valley. My notes: nose of sweet blackberry, lots of fruits on the palate, lively acidity.

My favorites were the Freestone Hill and the Devil's Gulch Pinots and I bought a few bottles of each to bring back home. These wines should age well, said Valerie, so I am looking forward to retasting them in a few years.

Related posts:
•  Napa and Sonoma trip: visit of Quintessa
•  Napa and Sonoma trip: Hanzell Vineyards
•  Napa and Sonoma trip: Emeritus Vineyards

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