2016 Dutton Palms Chardonnay
92pts - Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate
90 points- Wine & Spirits
90 points - "Very Highly Recommended" – California Grapevine
With a medium yellow, gold hue, this wine has excellent clarity. It is a full-bodied Chardonnay with delicate floral notes of jasmine and honeysuckle with a touch of petrichor, that amazingly pleasant aroma after fresh rain. Mid-palate there is a creaminess, an oily viscosity, that is dramatically appealing. The oak is seamlessly integrated into the wine’s finish. We noted a second level of flavors that appeared at the tip of the wine’s end that beckoned us to try it again.
Like all of the fruit we farm, this was harvested by hand at night. At the winery, the fruit was gently hand-sorted and then whole cluster pressed. The juice was racked with the lees into oak barrels. Individual lots are barrel fermented using Montrachet yeast. Undergoing natural malolactic fermentation, the lees are stirred twice monthly to add beneficial creamy texture to the wine until the secondary fermentation is complete. The Chardonnay is aged in a mix of new, 1-year old, and neutral French oak barrels emphasizing the fruit and vineyard characteristics of the wine. After purposefully selecting each barrel for this vineyard designate, the final blend is given time to marry and settle in stainless steel prior to bottling.
Planted in 1991 to the Wente clone, Dutton Palms Vineyard is east facing and lies within the coolest part of the Green Valley. The hills and valley floor of the vineyard consist of the traditional sandy loam Goldridge soil that is most prominent in the Green Valley and Russian River appellations. Joe and Tracy’s home vineyard at Dutton Palms, highlights orange and citrus flavors and is extremely lush on the palate with a creamy texture. Dutton Palms is one of the more than 80 vineyards that Dutton Ranch farms in the Russian River Valley and is certified Sonoma County Sustainably-Farmed and Fish-Friendly.