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Dutton-Goldfield Devil's Gulch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Marin County, North Coast, California
  • WE96
  • CG95
  • W&S93
13.5% ABV
  • WE94
  • WE94
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Devil's Gulch Vineyard Pinot Noir offers floral aromatics, cranberry fruit and the classic forest floor earthy undertones the vineyard is known for, as well as bringing out the complexity inherent in the vineyard. The tight-knit, silky and substantial mouth-feel from the cool year and tiny berries, plus the perfect natural acidity and moderate alcohol, come together to give a particular fineness to this vintage. It's a complete wine in a packed, compact package. In the nose, red cherries, cranberries, violets and leather lead the way, followed by juicy wild berry and toffee in the mouth. The low alcohol really enables the cranberry sourball brightness to come through on the lengthy finish.

Pinot Noir fans appreciate exotic vineyard sites and eccentric vineyard owners. Mark Pasternak and his Devil’s Gulch vineyard fit the bill on both counts. Located on a steep, convoluted hillside adjacent to the Point Reyes Peninsula in Western Marin County, Devil’s Gulch is a pioneering planting. Mark is dedicated to sustainable agricultural practices and minimal chemical use. The ranch combines steep terraces (up to 60% grade), shallow soil, the harsh climate of the Marin coast, protected exposures, and well-chosen Dijon clonal selections to produce a small crop of unique fruit. Dan has been crafting wines sourced from Devil's Gulch fruit since the early 1990s.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
Gorgeous aromas of clove, cinnamon, ripe black fruit and whiffs of pine and herb make a great start. The flavors are equally compelling and classic, blending cinnamon and black cherry with hints of rosemary and rhubarb. These all glide on a soothing texture that rests lightly on firm tannins and fresh acidity, resulting in a fascinating and complex taste experience. Editors' Choice.
CG 95
Connoisseurs' Guide
Energetically fruity and showing an engaging sense of brightness with a polite bow to ripeness and framed by especially deft oak, the Devil’s Gulch Pinot is both the most vital and best polished of the fine Dutton Goldfield contingent. It is exceptionally well-balanced and manages to be both rich and very light on its feet in the way that only top-shelf Pinots can be, and, if highly commendable now for its purity and great varietal focus, it is guaranteed to grow and remain lively for a half-dozen or more years.
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Dan Goldfield's gentle treatment of the small, concentrated berries resulted in a lithe, high-toned, floral pinot noir with brisk cranberry, juniper and earthy cedar tones. It remains, surprisingly fresh several days after opening, gaining complexity along the way.
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Dutton-Goldfield, Marin County, North Coast, California
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Dutton-Goldfield Winery began with a handshake in a vineyard in 1998, when longtime colleagues and friends Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield recognized a shared vision between them—to craft wines that express the personalities of their cool-climate vineyards, and which they'd enjoy drinking at their own dinner tables.

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the mainstays of the Dutton-Goldfield production. Using fruit from carefully chosen vineyards, Dan Goldfield produces wine that reflects the natural tendencies of the area: crisp, well-structured wines that display the complexity, balance and intensity that the partners believe are key to world-class wines.

Dutton-Goldfield Winery's first releases were a Dutton Ranch Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the 1998 vintage. Today Dan and Steve continue to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Dutton Ranch plantings, numerous vineyard-designated wines, as well as small lots of old vine Zinfandel and hillside Syrah. The Dutton-Goldfield wines are crafted using traditional techniques such as barrel and malolactic fermentation for the Chardonnay, and open top fermentation for the Pinot Noir.

The winery is a partnership of friends, colleagues, neighbors and families. The wines reflect this spectacular part of Northern California where the grapes are grown, the superb quality of fruit from perfectly placed and planted vineyards, and the work of an appreciative winemaker.

Marin County

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Bordered by Napa and Sonoma Valleys to the north and the Golden gate Bridge to the south, most of the region’s vineyards are planted on Marin County’s western side where they are exposed to the moist and cold air of the Pacific Ocean. Varieties like Pinot noir and Chardonnay do well here.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

BVJBJ00567_2012 Item# 136582