2018 Karmen Isabella Pinot Noir
91 Points - Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
91 Point - California Grapevine
Dutton Ranch farms more than 80 separate vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Our vineyards are certified Sonoma County sustainably- Farmed and Fish-Friendly. They are dry-farmed and historically produces grapes of consistent character. The vineyards that contributed to this vintage each played an important role in developing a distinct part of the 2018 Karmen Isabella. The small Green Valley Road Vineyard provides dark colored and richly flavored fruit. The Thomas Road Vineyard contributes bright red cherry aromas and flavors. Lastly, the Manzana Vineyard provides secondary and tertiary complexities of fresh strawberry and cherry cola aromas with a fruit forward palate!
Harvested at night, the fruit is hand-sorted and gently destemmed. The crushed fruit is placed into small open-top fermenters. The must is cold-soaked for five days to gently extract spice and fruit characters, while minimizing harsher tannins. We punch-down up to three times daily to coax out a rich color and intense flavors during the early fermentation stages. The individual lots are then pressed and racked into French oak barrels to age. We selected clone 115 for elegance, spice notes, and bright fruit flavors and clone 828, which typically has smaller clusters, for structure and darker color. We blended them in early summer to allow the wine to marry and settle before bottling. This wine was filtered.
In the glass the Karmen Isabella attracts the eye with reflective garnet and brilliant purple hues. The nose is full of fresh crushed red and black berry fruits, light oak with earthy-dusty-clay nuances. On the palate the wine has a juicy, supple, mouth filling texture. Flavors of crisp, ripe black cherry/berry fruit abound with charming rose and persimmon notes. Dark fruits permeate the finish with subtle integrated oak. The Karmen Isabella is ready to drink now and is very approachable with fresh strawberry and cherry cola aromas. A fruit forward Pinot Noir consistent with what we look forward to in this cuvee every vintage!