2018 Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, USA (750ml)
The 2018 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay is quintessential Russian River Valley. The wine opens with toasted almond, butter cookie and nutmeg aromas. Bone-dry and inviting, the palate is filled with Meyer lemon, passionfruit and orange blossom flavors. There’s a compelling lushness to the mid-palate that leads to a nice mineral quality on the finish. Once again, Dutton Ranch has delivered a wonderfully age-worthy wine that captures the charm and complexity of some of Sonoma County’s oldest Chardonnay vines.
James Hall selects the fruit for this wine from 11 blocks farmed by the Dutton family. Most of the vines are older plantings of heritage clones and selections, a mix that seems to respond to a slow, spontaneous fermentation and development in French oak barrels (35 percent new). The 2018 builds to a savory and ornate chardonnay, a wine with traction that digs into scents of violets and game, jasmine and butterscotch, giving a sweet impression without any actual sweetness. There’s yellow and orange citrus fruit, but the main impression is earthy, with notes of lobster mushroom and lobster broth in a mineral finish. It’s floral, clean, intense wine, with stature and resistance to oxygen. Decant it for crab Louis, or cellar it for years.
- Wine & Spirits, 94 pts.
Aromatic in a richness of caramelized brioche and baked lemon, the layers of flavor in this full-bodied, voluptuous wine follow suit, providing plenty of length and opulence. A buttery back note adds to the complex, appealing intensity.
- Wine Enthusiast, 93 pts.
The 2018 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch has aromas of red apple peel, white pepper and honeysuckle with notions of baker's yeast and spices. Medium-bodied, it has a good core of nutty fruits with a long, gently leesy finish.
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 90 pts.
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