2017 Dutton Palms Chardonnay
93 Points - Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate
Dutton Palm is one of our interior sites that is slightly warmer and sunnier. The vineyard yields richer fruit inclined toward a full-bodied expression of Chardonnay. It is a consistently layered wine of sunny, floral aromatics and stone fruits with nutty integrated Oak and intended to appeal to palates preferring a mouth filling style of Chardonnay.
The fruit for this wine, like all Dutton Estate wines, was harvested by hand at night to preserve the range of flavors. Whole cluster of grapes were hand sorted and placed in the in gentle bladder press. The clusters were pressed at approximately .5 bar. The collected juice was cold settled in tank and racked off the gross lees back to tank. Fermentation stated and nearly completed in tank to preserve the range of delicate and complex flavors. A specialized yeast strain was employed for a cool and steady fermentation. The wine was transferred to barrel to ferment dry and balance the palate given the inherently high acids of out cool location. We carefully selected steam bent barrels as opposed to fire bent barrels to lift the fruit flavors and extend the mouthfeel. Malolactic fermentation completed in barrels to integrate the flavors and textures. Aging continued for 9 months in 2/3 neutral oak and 1/3 new oak. Our aim with this special block of vineyard is to preserve and elevate the character of this old vine Chardonnay.
Dutton Ranch farms more than 80 separate vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Planted in 1980, the Dutton Palms Vineyard surrounds. The Wente clone is trellised to a modified version of Geneva Double Curtin (GDC.) Th hills & valley floor of the vineyard consist of the traditional sandy loam Goldridge soil that is most prominent in the Sonoma Valley and Russian River Valley appellations. Joe & Tracy’s home vineyard at “Dutton Palms” 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. It is dry-farmed and historically produces grapes of consistent character.