2016 Warren's Collection Chardonnay
92pts - Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate
Our past is our future and this wine, in honor of Joe’s father, Warren Dutton, is the embodiment of this spirit. The five best barrels selected represent the respect between the farmer and the winemaker and the joie de vivre that Warren brought whenever our wines were poured with friends and family. The citrus medley with a touch of menthol make the mid-palate fascinating. Much like its namesake, the flavors explode, then linger, and then another spark comes through that keeps it even more interesting. All of this leads to a delicate and smooth finish that has the right balance of creaminess and a light oak touch.
The fruit is derived from the highest elevation point with the best drainage from the vineyard surrounding the winery. The grapes are whole-cluster pressed and the juice racked into a selection of medium toasted French oak barrels for fermentation. The wine underwent a secondary fermentation, malolactic fermentation and, once completed, the lees stirred every three weeks. The selection of barrels for this unique bottling occurs in the early spring, prior to blending the individual Chardonnay lots. We select five barrels from the Sebastopol Vineyard that best represent Chardonnay grown in the cool Russian River Valley.
Planted in 1980, the Sebastopol Vineyard surrounds the Dutton Estate Winery property. The Wente clone is trellised to a modified version of Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) giving optimal airflow and a balanced ripening. The vineyard produces wine with tropical notes interlaced with green apple and citrus fruits. The vines are planted in sandy loam Goldridge soil allowing for excellent drainage from this hilltop vineyard. The vineyard is certified Sonoma County Sustainably-Farmed and Fish-Friendly and is farmed by Dutton Ranch. It is dry-farmed and historically produces grapes of consistent character.