The third of three drought winters, 2008 gave us early budbreak, then a series of frosts that resulted in extremely low yields and tiny berries throughout the Russian River Valley. Given the small crop and early start, our warm September that year brought the Pinot harvest in a torrent starting mid-month. This warm harvest season, combined with the thick skinned small berries, gave us Pinot with super supple tannins and sweet black cherry fruit. Our 2008 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir is a particularly unctuous and forward version of this offering. In the nose, black cherry and blackberry fruit lead, along with sweet caramel and coriander spice notes. As it opens in the glass, the candied cherry and berry fruit truly jump out. In the mouth, the immediate impression is that of broad, supple tannins which support the ample black cherry fruit and toffee wood notes. This richness is kept focused by bright acidity and moderate alcohol, and the lingering finish is all about the fresh berry fruit. Try this wine with roast chicken with mushrooms and braised greens, or pretty much any salmon preparation. It's truly versatile for food pairing, and certainly wonderful just to sip on its own.
"Medium red. Reticent but lively nose offers raspberry, flowers, spices and intriguing soil tones. Fat, sweet, creamy and rich, with good pinot cut and lift to the black fruit flavors. Nicely harmonious acidity frames and extends the wine's fruit. I prefer this today to the small-lot pinots. "
International Wine Cellar
"A notably delicate, elegant, richly flavored wine, with good depth and complexity, while remaining light on its feet. Offers supple plum, cherry and floral scents that are intense and persistent. Drink now through 2016. "