Dutton-Goldfield Winery Review
Address: 3100 Gravenstein Highway North Sebastapol,California 95472.
Phone Number: 707-823-3887
Tasting Hours: 10:00-4:30
Region: Sonoma Coast AVA, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley AVA, Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA, California
Reviewer: Elizabeth Smith
Review Date: 6/15/2016
Reviewer: Elizabeth Smith
Dutton-Goldfield began in 1998 with a handshake between Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield. Steve, a fifth-generation vintner, grew up in the farming family which founded the 35-acre Dutton Ranch. In 1987, he joined the family business full time. Today, the Dutton property has expanded to 80 vineyards and 1000+ acres. Dan, a research chemist turned winemaker, brought to the partnership a love of cool-climate, Burgundy-style wines such as chardonnay and pinot noir, as well as experience making wine at Robert Mondavi Winery, Schramsberg, and in Portugal. Dutton-Goldfield now produces around 9000 cases of wine annually.
Upon our arrival at Dutton-Goldfield, we were warmly welcomed by the team, including Nicole, the sales and hospitality manager, and even Dan Goldfield, who stopped by the tasting room to say hello. Although Dutton-Goldfield has outdoor patio seating, we were seated inside on couches by a fireplace on this cool, June morning in Sebastapol, California, which is located in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA of Sonoma County. This was my first trip to the Russian River Valley. Once you visit, you understand the significance of the phrase cool climate with regard to winegrowing and winemaking. It is indeed quite chilly in the mornings, with moderating breezes throughout the day. I must confess that if I were not living in the Napa Valley, I would love to call Sebastapol and the Russian River Valley home.
While the hospitality and Sebastapol locale are fantastic, it was evident that the focus at Dutton-Goldfield are the wines, which were paired with cheeses from Sonoma Countys own Valley Ford Cheese Company. Known primarily for chardonnay and pinot noir, the winery crafts many different varietal wines from their various vineyard sources.
We began our tasting with a selection of Alsatian-style wines: 2014 Chileno Valley Vineyard (Marin County) Riesling ($30), 2014 Green Valley Vineyard Russian River Valley Gewurztraminer (sold out), and by my request, the newly-released 2015 Shop Block Dutton Ranch Pinot Blanc ($30). I was pleasantly surprised that Dutton-Goldfield made these rare in California varietal wines. All three were outstanding. My personal favorite was the pinot blanc. I am a pinot blanc geek, so I was thrilled to taste this wine. It was a beauty. Fermented and aged in stainless steel with partial, not complete, malolactic fermentation, it showed beautiful stone and citrus fruit flavors and luscious texture. Only 367 cases of this wine were made, so I am sure it will not last long.
We continued the tasting with the 2013 Walker Hill Vineyard Dutton Ranch Chardonnay ($50), 2013 Angel Camp Vineyard Anderson Valley (Mendocino County) Pinot Noir (sold out), 2013 Fox Den Vineyard (Green Valley, Russian River Valley) Pinot Noir (sold out), 2013 Morelli Lane Vineyard Dutton Ranch Zinfandel ($50), and by my request again, the 2013 Cherry Ridge Vineyard Dutton Ranch Syrah ($50). All of these wines were so delicious, but again, the geek in me gravitated toward the zinfandel and the syrah. If youve never tried cool-climate zinfandel and syrah, you will be amazed when you do, and may never return to warm-climate versions again. The zinfandel, sourced from 19th century vines, has lively acidity, floral aromas, and flavors of wild, dark berries and baking spices. The syrah, sourced from only three acres, is my wheelhouse: mouthwatering acidity, brambly black fruits, peppery spice, and a smidgen of cured meat. Dutton-Goldfield only made 564 cases made of the zinfandel and 467 cases of the syrah, also a 95-point Wine Enthusiast wine, so get them while you can.
Our tasting concluded with us scrambling to buy wines, a sign of a great tasting experience. I opted for the pinot blanc and the syrah, but wished I had purchased the zinfandel as well. However, I am confident that my enjoyment of Dutton-Goldfield wines and my newly discovered love of the Russian River Valley will bring me back soon.
Address & Contact Information:
3100 Gravenstein Highway North
Tasting Hours: 10:00-4:30.
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