Range: 91+ Points"
Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2011
Chardonnay from Russian River, California
The extremely cool 2011 growing season produced a very small crop, with small clusters and tiny berries. These low yields have accentuated this wine's concentration, as well as its beautiful density and round, mouthcoating texture. The aromas offer ripe peach, pear, toasted almond and marzipan layers, alongside intriguing cinnamon, carnation and spice notes somewhat reminiscent of a great Gewürztraminer. On the palate, this wine is plush and lingering, with flavors or ripe pineapple and green apple. For all of its crowd-pleasing weight and texture, there is also focused acidity and a bright, crisp minerality that adds precision and length.
International Wine Cellar - "Straw-yellow. Understated but pure aromas of pineapple, lemon, marzipan and nutmeg oil. At once glyceral and brisk, with a rich, supple texture nicely cut by harmonious citrussy acidity. A piquant note of pineapple and firm finishing minerality leaves a fairly dry impression on the aftertaste.
Tasting Panel - "Bright, crisp and lush with lovely vanilla oak and tangy, dense and layered; elegant, rich and neatly balanced; long and seamless. "
The Wine Advocate - "The 2011 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch is a 5,000-case cuvee which includes fruit from relatively old vines (25% of the cuvee is from Chardonnay planted in 1969). This wine displays crisp acidity, exotic mango and pineapple notes with some caramelized citrus. It is medium to full-bodied and outstanding even in this vintage. (Obviously it was picked largely before any of the rain caused issues with botrytis.) "
Wine Enthusiast - "New oak dominates this brisk, young Chardonnay. It’s elaborate in tropical fruit, Asian pears and green apples, with fine, tart acidity making the mouth water, as well as a buttery creaminess from lees and 100% malolactic fermentation. Drink now."
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Patz & Hall Winery
Patz and Hall Wine Company was founded in 1988 by Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses and Heather Patz, and is dedicated to the production of hand-crafted wines. The four are long-time Napa Valley residents and wine industry professionals, with a wide variety of experiences. Patz and Hall produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines from selected vineyard sources in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Monterey counties. The Patz and Hall method is to work closely with each of their growers to achieve a unique expression of the vineyard site and deliver wines that reflect both the site and their vision for great wine. View all Patz & Hall Wines
About Russian RiverView a map of Russian River wineries
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
Notable FactsThe proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.