2012 Chardonnay - Dutton Morelli Vineyard
Located in the Russian River AVA in Sonoma County, the Dutton-Morelli Vineyard slowly matures Chardonnay grapes to perfection. We have chosen this site, for our Reserve Collection, to show the differences from the rich tropical fruit of Rosella's Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands and the bright acidity and minerality from the Ferrington Vineyard in Anderson Valley. This site falls somewhere in the middle in both flavors and actual location. The cool fog which flows into the Petaluma Gap during the warm summer, cools the region and slows down ripening. This allows multiple flavors to develop and adds great complexity to the wine. The cool nights also keep acid levels high to contribute the crisp acidity we feel is essential for Chardonnays to develop as they age.
Apple, pear and orange marmalade are the hallmark fruit flavors from this location. As with our other Reserve Collection Chardonnays, the grapes were pressed on arrival at the winery. After settling, the juice was inoculated with QA23 yeast, which we feel gives the perfect texture to the wine while accentuating all of the fruit components. The wine was barrel fermented in 50% new and 50% second use barrels. Barrels are the spice rack the winemaker uses to align with the different fruit nuances. For this wine we used Damy and Rousseau for their beautiful but subtle toasty flavor and second use Damy and Cadus barrels for softness and texture. The wine was ages sur lie for 12 months. Regular stirring of the lees adds the slightest hint of fresh baked bread to the nose. The exquisite combination of the fruit, toastiness of the oak and creamy texture shows what is possible from a great vineyard in one of the finest growing regions in California.
170 cases produced
Russian River Valley
Dutton Morelli Vineyard
Sunset Magazine Gold Medal