2017 My Father's Vineyard Syrah

2017 My Father's Vineyard  Syrah
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93 Points - Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

95 Points - The Tasting Panel & The Somm Journal

The Wine

Multi-generations and a love of the land are at the center of everything we do at Dutton Estate. This vineyard designated Syrah is a perfect example. The vineyard was originally Tracy Dutton’s father’s property. It is now managed and farmed by Joe Dutton, his son-in-law. This wine is a brilliant dark red color with lavender edges that dance in the glass. The nose begins with hints of dark plum and blackberry jam. This was the first year we ever did whole berry barrel fermentation on the Syrah, and also increased our aging from the previous vintage by 6 months to a total of 17 months in barrel. This provides a rich palate, a long finish and sweet oak flavors which give a great balance to the acid in this Syrah. The American oak lends big maple sweet flavors, and the barrel fermentation provides early and seamless oak flavors all the way to the finish, highlighting notes of cinnamon and maple bacon.

The Winemaking

After harvested by hand at night. The fruit was gently hand-sorted, destemmed, and then cold soaked at the winery. This was the First year we ever did whole berry open and closed barrel fermentation, and we did this by using two different methods. First we removed the heads of the new oak barrels and filled them with Syrah grapes, and then punched down much like we normally would in a T-bin. For our other method, we added Syrah grapes to the barrels and put the heads back on, and then rolled the barrels three times a day to mix the fruit and yeast or fermentation. Both methods provide early oak extraction and integration. Once the fermentation was complete, each method was kept separate until blending and bottling. The fruit and wine fermented in the new oak never left that barrel until the very end. In this vintage we also aged the Syrah for 17 months for the first time, allowing the wine much more time for flavors to marry and the quality of the wine to increase.

The Vineyard

Named in honor of Tracy Dutton’s father, the vineyard was planted in 2002 with the Syrah Noir Clone in the Santa Rosa Plains in Huichica Loam soil. This vineyard, one of the more than 80 that Dutton Ranch farms, is located in a low-lying elevation site with rolling hills and is the home of Tracy’s parents, Paul and Carol. Because of the topography, it is one of the last vineyard sites to burn off morning fog and receive sun. The soil there is perfect for Syrah with moderate drainage and an average depth of 25-40 inches plus a base of old valley alluvium from mixed sedimentary, volcanic ash, and rock sources.

Wine Specs
Russian River Valley
Alcohol %

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