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Dutton Estate Karmen Isabella Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WE92
14.6% ABV
  • WE90
  • WE94
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14.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This deep ruby red colored wine starts off with a nose full of floral scents which will give you the sense of being in the middle of a rose garden. A soft feminine wine the Karmen Isabella pinot noir brings with it an abundance of flavors including bright cherry, honey and raspberry. Crisp and alive with a structure of minerality to go along with just the right acidity to round out this complex wine.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This is a standout wine for the vintage, but it's too immature to fully appreciate now. The palate is ripe and rich with cherry and raspberry flavors touched with a briary, sappy aroma. Mushroom and cola notes are dark and brooding, giving the wine the backbone to negotiate the next 7–8 years in the cellar. Cellar Selection.
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Dutton Estate

Dutton Estate

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Dutton Estate, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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Dutton Estate Winery is in the Green Valley AVA in the Russian River Valley located near the small charming town of Sebastopol. Once a dominant apple-growing region, Sebastopol is now a destination hide-away and home to the winery’s founders, Joe and Tracy Dutton.

Joe and Tracy’s agricultural heritage is deeply rooted in Sebastopol, as Tracy’s great-grandparents began farming apples in the 1920’s and today continues growing apples and grapes at the family’s recognized farm and food production facility in Forestville at Kozlowski Farms.

Joe is co-owner of Dutton Ranch, which was founded in 1964 by his parents. Today, Dutton Ranch farms 1300 acres of grapes and 250 acres of apples, all within the Green Valley-Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations.

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

HNYDNTPNR11C_2011 Item# 140852