Au Contraire Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir 2014
The Au Contraire range of wines comes from top vineyards in appellations known for their stellar style and quality, including the Russian River Valley, Carneros and the Sonoma Coast.
Au Contraire Chardonnay is harvested from the heart of Russian River Valley to the western edges of Green Valley bordering Sonoma Coast. This area has an ideal climate with fog influences and cool nights, providing an extended growing season and grapes that maintain their natural acidity and showcase the purity of the terroir.
A blend of Sonoma Coast vineyards from Sebastopol to the Fort Ross Seaview AVA overlooking the Pacific make up Au Contraire Pinot Noir. These warmer vineyard sites sit above the fog line, delivering a cool climate style Pinot Noir with highly concentrated fruit flavors.
The charming French expression, Au Contraire, was often used by the beloved founder of Palm Bay International, producer of Au Contraire wines, David S. Taub, usually preceding an insight that took a turn from conventional wisdom. His son, President & CEO Marc D. Taub, fittingly adopted his father’s favorite saying to dedicate this brand to him to honor his 50 years in the business and his passion, vision and leadership.
Outstanding quality is guaranteed by legendary California enologist Tom Hinde and his experienced team of viticulturists. Tom’s expansive career in California wine spans three decades and brings with it a breadth of industry knowledge. He is involved in every aspect of the growing and winemaking process.
While the Russian River Valley is a large appellation with multiple climate zones and soil types, it is best known for cool-climate varieties, with Pinot Noir as the most celebrated. The grapes benefit from a reliable late afternoon flow of Pacific Ocean fog through the Petaluma Gap and along the Russian River Valley that ensures slow and steady ripening and the preservation of grape acidity. Today many of California’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards are in the Russian River Valley, along with its sub-appellation, Green Valley.
Historically Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs had bright red fruit and delicate earthy, mineral notes. But changes in viticultural and winemaking practices have led to stylistic changes in some of the region’s wines. Adjustments to canopy management, among other techniques, have resulted in riper fruit and bolder wines as well. These show flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cola, spice and darker, loamy earth tones, accenting traditional Pinot Noir notes of strawberry, raspberry and light cherry.