Dutton Ranch is a sprawling 1,100-acre holding largely situated in Sonoma's Russian Valley. One need only consider the magnificent wines of Kistler, Patz and Hall, and Dutton Goldfield to appreciate the superb quality of Dutton Ranch grapes. The Dutton family treats each of their dozens of vineyards with individualized care that reflects the unique character of each parcel.
What makes the Russian River Valley so unique is the daily interplay between coastal fog and the valley air that is baked by the afternoon sun. Evening in the Russian River Valley brings fog, chilled by the cold Pacific Ocean off the Sonoma Coast. The fog rolls up through the valley, keeping temperatures low overnight. The morning sun warms up the valley air, causing it to expand and push the fog back out to sea. The afternoon heat promotes increased sugar levels, while the cooler evening keeps acid levels high.
This delicate balance provides the necessary ingredients for the production of balanced and complex wines. When taken in concert with the wide array of vineyards available at Dutton Ranch, complexity can reach new heights. No one is more tuned in to this principle than Dan Goldfield, winemaker and partner to the Dutton family in Dutton-Goldfield. The partnership allows Goldfield to hand select parcels from the entire ranch for Dutton-Goldfield bottlings. Goldfield's own winemaking predilection is geared towards pure, highly focused wines that age as well as any Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in the Russian River Valley.
The 2006 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay features big, bright nectarine, orange blossom and citrus aromas and flavors. Barrel-fermented in a blend of new, one and two year old barrels, the sinew of this gorgeous Chardonnay incorporates the wood's structure while somehow repelling the oak aromas and flavors. Drink now for its fruity zestiness (it's a shame!) or age for a decade.
Pair with salmon or more delicate white fish. Stands up well to richer sauces.