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Dutton-Goldfield Rued Vineyard Chardonnay 2011

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

Winemaker Notes

Warren Dutton planted this Chardonnay vineyard on an east-facing hillside west of the town of Graton in 1969. The selection planted in the vineyard, which produces exceptionally exotic, highly identifiable fruit, has since been propagated across California and is now referred to as the "Rued Clone." This vineyard's old vines produce clusters with tiny golden translucent berries that have incredibly enticing flavors, floral aromatics and tropical freshness.

As a winemaker, some wines you craft just perfectly suit your own 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—fantastic 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

All Vintages
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

Dutton-Goldfield

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Dutton-Goldfield, Russian River, Sonoma County, 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.

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.

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 is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

YNG905628_2011 Item# 126410