Well, truth be told, I didn’t know a thing about Dutton-Goldfield before we went for a wine-tasting visit the other day. I simply wanted to go because I liked the name of the place. Is that so wrong?
Located in the Russian River Valley in Sebastopol, they’ve a smart tasting room in front of their winery. Dan Goldfield is wine maker. Steve Dutton, the first part of Dutton-Goldfield, is one of the two sons of the late Warren Dutton, who with wife Gail purchased numerous plots throughout the region and developed them into vineyards. Both Dutton heirs, Steve and Joe, have their own wineries. It is a bit hard to pull it all together but it sounds like all the grapes for Dutton-Goldfield are sourced from Dutton Ranch. So blah, blah, blah…
The enduring question, of course, is how’s the wine?
Well, I thought it very good.
We were alone at Dutton-Goldfield about 30 minutes before closing on a Friday evening. I liked that a lot, since we got the undivided attention of the helpful staff. D-G produces a wide selection of wines, though Veronica and I were especially interested in the single vineyard designate pinot noirs. So we tried only reds.
2009 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley: This was an opaque red to purple with aromas of stone fruits, leading to the classic RRV sour cherry with cranberry notes at the end. Full bodied, we detected some pepper. This was a nice wine.
2009 Freestone Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley: This, too, was an opaque purple red color with a lovely nose of herbs, particularly thyme, cinnamon and clove. More lush than the first, it was full bodied with some pepper notes on the long finish. Really good.
2009 Fox Den Vineyard Pinot Noir, Green Valley of RRV: This was a red purple color and more fruit forward with good depth, a long finish filled with jammy plum and caramel notes.
2008 Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah, Green Valley of RRV: An opaque purple black, this cool-climate syrah exhibited rich fruit, some sour cherry and sandalwood notes with a medium to full body.
2009 Stoetz Ridge Vineyard Zinfandel, Russian River Valley: This cool-climate zin was a cloudy red to purple with a fruity aroma with hints of rising bread. Grenache like in taste, it was supple with medium body, and red fruit. This was not the powerful over-the-top zinfandel one typically finds.