2017 Warren's Collection Chardonnay
92 Points - Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate
Dutton Ranch farms more than 80 separate vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Planted in 1967, the Shop Block Vineyard is a vineyard block located on the Dutton Family’s home ranch property. The Wente clone is trellised to a modified version of Geneva Double Curtain (GDC.) The vineyard produces wine with the tropical notes interlaced with green apple and citrus fruits. The vines are planted in the heavier valley floor soil. The vineyard is certified Sonoma County Sustainably-Farmed and Fish-Friendly. It is dry farmed and historically produces grapes of consistent character.
Our past is our future and this wine, in honor of Joe’s father, Warren Dutton and is the embodiment of his spirit. It represents respect between the farmer and the winemaker and the enthusiasm that Warren brought whenever our wines were poured with friends and family. The fruit for the 2017 Warren’s Collection is harvested from the Dutton Ranch’s original Chardonnay vineyard. The Shop Block was planted in 1967 and is located on the valley floor of the cool Green Valley region. These 50-year-old wines produce history in a bottle!
The fruit for this wine, like all Dutton Estate wines, was harvested by hand at night to preserve the range of flavors. Given the focus of Warren’s Collection on this historic block our approach was to be light handed and respectful of the fruit. To preserve delicacy the pristine fruit was very gently whole cluster pressed at approx. .5 bar. The juice was cold settled in tank and racked off the gross lees to a stainless-steel tank. A cold fermentation ensued in stainless using a special ‘steady’ yeast for the process. When nearing dryness, the wine was transferred to barrel to complete fermentation. French steam bent barrels as opposed to fire bent barrels were preferred to lift the high tone fruit characters and keep the round oak tones in the background. Two thirds were neutral and one third of the oak was new. The intent is to preserve the complex fruit characters and balance the texture of this very special wine.