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American Beauty


Mac McDougall

Vivaldi Four Seasons

Shine A Light


Classic lines from Song that Sing for this Winemaker

Music and song are poetry; they evoke feelings, experiences and rumination – as does good wine on occasion.  Musical experiences and wine experiences often induce thoughts of the other for me (not to mention the occasional Leslie Nielsen line). Herewith are some random examples that come to mind.

Perfect for the 2015 Harvest:
Makes me think of classic Pink Floyd. It's mid-August, hanging out trying to relax between bottling, customer visit season, and harvest. The usual progression gives us a few weeks of yogic breathing and play before the fruit avalanches, but not this year (I valiantly tried):  From Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon "Time" said it perfectly: "No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun. And so you run and you run, to catch up with sun, but it's sinking, racing around, to come up behind you again."

Pink Floyd – bold, quirky and brilliant – 2013 Devil's Gulch, of course.

Indelible High School times
(and indelible wine imprint): Grateful Dead wall of sound in 1974. Sneak a few bottles of 1969 DRC Richebourg into the Spectrum for a show, go nuts singing along (the term "singing" a stretch when referring to Goldfields) when Jerry goes into Wharf Rat:  "Half of my life, I spent doin' time for some other fucker's crime, The other half found me stumbling around drunk on Burgundy wine."

Pair with 2013 Freestone Hill Pinot, if you can't find '69, 71, 78, 85, 90 or 2005 Richebourg.

Harvest 2006: Never seen so much fruit at once relative to capacity. Late, huge season, lots of angst and threat of (more) rain. Leslie Neilson said it best in "Airplane": "This is no time to give up cocaine." – quoted frequently in our stinky little winemaker trailer at 4 a.m., always with an affectionate smile (right Ian?).

I'd go with 2012 Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah (at least as the chaser) to pair with this one.

Harvest 2012: So much fruit, all beautiful, tasty and well behaved! Hard not to find a Dead lyric to most things; from "I Need a Miracle": "It takes dynamite to get me up. Too much of everything is just enough. One more thing, I just got to say: I need a miracle every day!"  

Dynamic, happy and optimistic, just like 2013 Walker Chard.

So many lines from the great poet of our times, Bob Dylan: But this line from "Maggie's Farm" so refers how we think at Dutton-Goldfield, and beyond: "Well, I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them, they say sing while you slave and I just get bored, I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more."

Thoughtful, searing, laser focused: 2013 Fox Den Pinot.

We spend a lot of time listening to blues at DG (thank you, David): A great Willie Dixon line makes me smile thinking of some of my much loved grower friends (our buddy Kirk Lokka comes to mind). From "You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover": "Oh can't you see, you misjudge me, I look like a farmer, but I'm a lover. You can't judge a book by looking at the cover."

It's blues, dude – shut up and drink whiskey. High West, Son of Bourye – one of the awesome craft whiskeys by great folks in Park City, Utah!

Grateful Dead again: "The Wheel" is at the core of their songbook for me – the cycles of the earth, the work of humans; "Small wheel turn by the fire and rod, big wheel turn by the grace of God. Every time that wheel goes round, bound to cover just a little more ground."

A perfect song to toast the passing of our beloved friend Mac, with the 2013 McDougall Pinot.

And don't forget Great Classical
:  Clearly Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" is an ode to what's dear in winemaking, reflective of life in general, and a gorgeous piece of music.

Bright, precise breakfast wine for bright, precise breakfast music: 2014 Chileno Valley Riesling.

Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #5
(You've got to watch this YouTube, the harps player is badass!): One of the world's iconic harpsichord pieces – how can you not think of Pinot Noir - rich, delicate and detailed, all at once.

I'm thinking 2013 Emerald Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Gotta have Led Zeppelin for energy and creativity: From "Going to California", "Spent my days with a woman unkind, Smoked my stuff and drank all my wine. Made up my mind to make a new start, going to California with an aching in my heart."

2013 Angel Camp is perfect in spirit and richness for this one.

The Rolling Stones are abundant with great wine references, and just the greatest anyway: From "Sweet Virginia": "Thank you for your wine, California, thank you for your sweet and bitter fruits. Yes I got the desert in my toenail, and I hid the speed inside my shoe."

Totally Zin baby – 2013 Morelli.

One of the sweetest ballads ever is "Wild Horses".  Dutton-Goldfield is truly a dream for its creative winemaking freedom, and the line, "I know I've dreamed you a sin and a lie, I have my freedom but I don't have much time", might be any lucky winemaker's ode.

Gotta be 2013 Deviate, if you're some of the few who actually have some.

My standard Stones response when someone asks which of our wines is my favorite: from one of my favorite tunes (so many from the boys), "Shine a Light": "May the good Lord shine a light on you, make every song you sing your favorite tune. May the good Lord shine a light on you, warm like the evening sun."

2013 Rued for sure – classic and respectful.

The Good Lord has definitely shone a light on us: which brings me to our last song reference: Grateful Dead of course, from Estimated Profit: "California, preaching on the burning shore, California, I'll be knocking on the golden door. Like an angel, standing in a shaft of light, rising up to paradise, I know I'm gonna shine." Often bellowed incomprehensibly (I'm sure to the few bystanders who've seen) when it comes on a bike playlist.

Something you love from the cellar for this one – for me it would be 2007 Freestone Pinot right now.

We'll leave you with a thought from the book of Job: "Speak to the earth and it shall teach thee."

Have a wonderful Holiday season! Much love from your friends at Dutton-Goldfield.
   ~ Dan

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