2017 Dutton Goldfield, Pinot Noir Green Valley "Fox Den Vineyard"
2017 Dutton Goldfield, Pinot Noir Green Valley "Fox Den Vineyard"

2017 Dutton Goldfield, Pinot Noir Green Valley "Fox Den Vineyard"

California, United States 2017 (750mL)
Regular price$49.00

2017 Dutton Goldfield, Pinot Noir Green Valley "Fox Den Vineyard"

We offer plenty of killer Sonoma Pinot Noir here at SommSelect, and typically end our missives with a guarantee: give it just a few more years in bottle and it’ll blossom into something truly special. Unfortunately, Russian River Pinot suffers the same fate as most great California wine these days—consumed when it’s, yes, delicious, but before it’s really gotten to strut its stuff. Today, with Dutton Goldfield’s 2017 “Fox Den Vineyard,” we get the rare chance to prove why everyone should wait to pop the cork on a beautifully crafted Russian River Pinot. After six years in bottle, this sultry beauty has taken on Gevrey-esque earth tones and savor, ratcheting the already seductive drinking experience up to 11. Crafted by two legends of the Valley, hailing from a singular site in the AVA’s coolest and most unique zone, you couldn’t ask for a better demonstration of why we should all be laying down more Russian River juice. One taste of this and you’ll be securing every bottle of Pinot in your cellar under lock and key. Just be sure to grab enough of Dutton Goldfield “Fox Den” to tide you over!

Few know the Russian River Valley better than Dan Goldfield. After getting his enology degree at UC Davis and working in Portugal for a few years, Dan has spent the last four decades laser-focused on this special corner of California viticulture. He cut his teeth as a winemaker at La Crema and then was tapped to establish one of the Valley’s most coveted labels, Hartford Court. It was a bottle of 1969 Burgundy that set Dan on his path toward winemaking, and from day one he’s remained committed to producing fantastically elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  In 1998, Dan made a handshake deal with his longtime friend and fellow Valley legend Steve Dutton, and Dutton Goldfield was born. The Dutton ranch provides most of the fruit for the winery, but when Dan comes across a special site—often on his hours-long cycling rides—he’ll work with the fruit. If there’s no vines there yet, he and Steve will even team up to plant them.

Such was the case for Fox Den Vineyard. Dan and Steve planted the vineyard in 2002, and it has become one of their most prized sites. It’s located in the Green Valley, a sub-AVA of the larger Russian River Valley, where Pinot and Chardonnay reach their most Burgundian heights. Fog is the defining feature here, moving in early at night and only burning off in the afternoon, keeping the vineyards cool all the while. At Fox Den, low-nutrient sandy soils contribute to fruit that ripens very slowly, the last to be picked each season. Three clones—777, 667, and 115—make for pinpoint balance between high-toned fruit and floral aromatics, silky texture, and filigreed tannins. In 2017, the fruit was entirely destemmed and given a five day cold soak before spontaneous fermentation. The wine aged for 18 months in 55% new oak barrels.

The 2017 Dutton Goldfield “Fox Den Vineyard” pours a luminous ruby, the rim just barely starting to show a hint of bricking. On the nose, you’re hit immediately by a wash of ripe, fresh fruit, ranging from black raspberry to bing cherry to strawberry compote. Earthy savor–fresh-turned soil, fallen leaves–and whiffs of warm baking spices, underlain with dried rose petals and balsam wood, are wildly seductive, sure signs the wine is just beginning its aging upswing. The palate is plush and mouth coating, juicy acidity reinforcing the raspberry fruit tones and fine-grained tannin marking this out as a bottle that deserves prime position alongside a special meal. It’s fantastically complex already, but there’s no doubt that “Fox Den'' still has many years to go. Grab a few bottles for special occasions now, lay a few more down, and bask in the glory of the Green Valley!

2017 Dutton Goldfield, Pinot Noir Green Valley "Fox Den Vineyard"

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