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Dutton-Goldfield Rued Vineyard Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WE95
13.5% ABV
  • WE92
  • RP90
  • WE93
  • D91
  • WE94
  • WE97
  • WE96
  • W&S89
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

As a winemaker, some wines you craft just perfectly suit your ow n tastes. The 2011 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay is definitely in this group; its combination of focus and opulence, plush fruit and steely minerality are exactly what we strive for in this bottling. The cold, damp 2011 season perfectly suited Dutton Ranch's attentive farming, and the character of the old, dry farmed Chard vines. Their sparse canopy, low yield and great health produced concentrated fruit in a year where many were less pleased. The wine shows the crystalline citrus fruit and freshness so quintessential to this neighborhood. In the nose, it leads with lemon curd,buttercream and a touch of tangerine—fantas tic concentration and focus. The mouth is refreshing and luscious at the same time. Meyer lemon, a hint of toffee, and mandarin orange fill out the middle, while the creamy tropical overtones round out the edges. The finish combines fresh citrus, sweet buttercream, bright acidity and a cleansing minerality that leaves you wanting more. This really is the perfect pairing wine, suiting everything from light appetizers and sushi to pasta in cream sauce and pork. Or, nothing at all.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Rued Ranch consistently is the winery’s top bottling. The 2011, like its predecessors, is modest in alcohol but vast in citrus, tropical fruit, honeysuckle and mineral flavors, and enriched with smoky oak and buttery notes. It has a delicate mouthfeel that makes it a joy to savor.
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Dutton-Goldfield, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
2011 Rued Vineyard Chardonnay
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.

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 which flows through the region. 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, further 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.


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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

YNG905628_2011 Item# 126410