2012 Dutton Goldfield "Dutton Ranch" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1154589 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is the winery’s first Pinot of the vintage. Hence it’s a preview of their 2012s to come, and what promise it holds. The acidity is high and the alcohol is low, making for an elegant mouthfeel. But what’s especially pleasurable are the deep flavors of black cherries, blueberries, red currants and sandalwood. The wine is fine to drink now, and should hold in the bottle until 2022. What a superb barbecued steak pairing. —S.H  (4/ 2014)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good bright medium red. Very ripe, open-knit aromas of cherry, strawberry, brown spices and oak. Ripe, dry and nicely concentrated, with strong spicy lift to the cranberry and raspberry flavors. Supple, classically dry, firmly built pinot with a fine dusting of tannins and a lingering note of nutmeg.  (6/ 2014)

90 points Wine & Spirits

 **Best Buy** ...a classic Russian River Pinot Noir: sweet and spicy, warming yet fresh, with cherry-red fruit that’s fairly simple, but carries just enough savory nuance. The wine’s mildly astringent tannins could use another year or two to integrate; it will be delicious with a duck terrine.  (6/ 2014)

K&L Notes

Comprised of numerous separate vineyards, Dutton Ranch is an extremely important property in the coolest parts of the Russian River Valley, primarily in the Green Valley sub-appellation. Dutton Goldfield assembled this bottling from seven of these vineyards to represent the generously juicy, yet refined and structured style that the Russian River Valley so famously expresses. The ideal 2012 growing season yielded a bountiful crop of flawless fruit that had winemakers excited as soon as the grapes arrived at the wineries. Now that the wines are bottled and starting to arrive in the marketplace, it's time to see what the excitement has been about. Robert Parker even posted on his Twitter account in January 2014 that Pinot lovers would "go bonkers" over the vintage. Dutton Goldfield vinified each vineyard separately for this bottling in order to afford flexibility in blending. The wine was aged for 10 months in 40% new French oak before the lots were selected for inclusion. From the winery: "The core of the aromatics is red and black cherry fruit, but nuances of strawberry, raspberry, nutmeg and toffee are quite evident with time in the glass. In the mouth, the first impression is bright, luscious berry fruit, but it’s the soft, broad tannins that carry the complex flavors across your palate and open up tones of cranberry, nutmeg and coriander. Thanks partially to the moderate alcohol and bright acidity, the finish lingers with fresh cherry fruit and creamy berry compote."

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Price: $32.99

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5