2018 Warren's Collection Chardonnay
91 Points - Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
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 wine-maker 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!
This quintessential Chardonnay begins with a straw color, followed by a rich nose of caramel, peach, rose, lemon and vanilla bean. The creamy, rich palate gives way to lemon zest, mineral and peach. Our oak aging introduces soft oak notes complimented by hints of butterscotch. This is a very well balanced wine through and through, starting with a citrus entry, creamy mid palate and minerality on the finish.
The 2018 vintage is the second with the Sonoma County Sustainably Farmed Grapes label identifier. This reflects our family’s and our community’s commitment to growing grapes that benefit farmers and wine lovers today as well as ensure viable businesses for the future. At Dutton Estate, we have felt connected to the land through six generations and are proud to lead this initiative with other grape growers.
The fruit for this wine, like all Dutton Estate wines, was harvested by hand at night to pre-serve the range of flavors. Whole clusters of grapes were hand sorted and placed in the in gentle bladder press. The clusters were pressed at approximately .8 bar. The collected juice was cold settled in tank and racked off the gross lees to barrels and concrete egg. A specialized yeast strain was employed for a cool and steady fermentation. The wine was stirred and mixed in barrel and egg to completion, aging the wine a balance palate and preserved the inherently high acids of our 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 barrel to integrate the flavors and textures, but not in the egg to keep the crispness of the fruit and tropical flavors. Aging continued for 9 months in 1/2 neutral oak and 1/2 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 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 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.