January 13, 2022 15:21
What were you doing in 1969?
Do you remember what you were doing in 1969 (if you were born yet)? If you were Warren Dutton, you were planting this chardonnay vineyard on the Rued family's beautiful slope across from the main Dutton Ranch shop. It was a perfect east-facing hillside, with the fluffy goldridge sandy loam Green Valley is known for, so seemed like an excellent spot to expand their new foray into grapegrowing. He got budwood that he thought was classic Wente clone, but about a third of it turned out to be an exotic variation that provided pink-tinged berries that carried tropical flavors of lychee and orange blossom. Everything came together to create healthy dry-farmed vines that continue to this day to produce thick-skinned, tiny berries with deep, concentrated flavors, solid acidity, unusual minerality, and tremendous ageabilty.
Rued was one of the first vineyards we contracted for Dutton-Goldfield when the winery began. It was intended to only be a component in our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, but the 1999 vintage was such a standout in barrel, we produced 7 barrels on their own that year (with a back-up plan, of course, to drink it among the owners if it didn't sell). Fortunately, chardonnay fans flocked to the wine, and we've been producing it every vintage since.
This 2019 vintage represents the 50th birthday of Rued Vineyard, and like all the great loves in life, our adoration just grows stronger every year. It's always a favorite among the media as well, with our most recent accolade coming out just this week in Robb Report's "13 New California Chardonnays Perfect for Sipping in Winter". We think they nailed their notes on the wine, so will leave you with Sara Schneider's description:
High-toned aromas of spicy jasmine and citrus blossom give way to creamy lemon, bruised apple and tropical notes, with layers of earth and minerality. Rich but not heavy, the palate dances with Meyer lemon, puckery citrus zest, crisp pear and hints of exotic spice and pleasant salinity.
How about a cozy pairing for that cellar wine?
If you're like us, your mantra for the past year-plus is "why wait? Let's drink those "special" wines in the cellar, and make any night an occasion and reason to celebrate life.
Here are some of our recent favorites, especially for these chilly winter nights:
• 2018 Deviate Pinot Noir with Braised and Roasted Pork Shanks with Prosciutto and Porcini Mushrooms
• 2018 McDougall Pinot Noir with Balsamic and Rosemary-Marinated Florentine Steak
• 2018 van der Kamp Pinot Noir with Crispy Chicken Thighs with Bacon and Wilted Escarole
Need to restock? No problem, we've got you covered with that, too!
On a winter travel break? You can still taste with us virtually
Are you missing visiting your favorite winery and kicking back for a tasting with us? We are open by appointment, and the weather is perfect for enjoying our patio. But if you're keeping it local after the busy holidays, or don't want to travel with all the craziness going on, you can do the next best thing and let us host your group for a virtual tasting!
- Red Wine Exploration - Redwood Ridge Pinot Noir, Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah, and Morelli Lane Zinfandel
- Chardonnay Three Ways - Devil's Gulch, Rued, and Walker Hill Chardonnay
- THE Dutton Ranch wines - Shop Block Pinot Blanc, Walker Hill Chardonnay, and Emerald Ridge Pinot Noir
- Pinot along the Coast - Devil's Gulch, Fox Den, and McDougall Pinots
We're happy to discuss other ideas with you as well, so just email us or give us a call at 707.823.3887.
New Artist in our Tasting Room!
We're excited to announce our newest artist showing in our tasting room: Katie Kruzic.
"I grew up in Northern California and truly love the area. I am an avid hiker and find an abundance of ideas for paintings on every hike. I try to capture the sense of place, both big and small. I look at each piece as a puzzle and enjoy the challenge of putting it together to match the image in my head. My paintings are thick, bold, and colorful, with a lot of texture and brushstrokes."
You can come by and check our Katie's art between now and March 1. We'll be holding a reception on Friday, January 14, from 4-5:30 to toast her art addition to our tasting room walls.
If you are traveling, winter is a great time to visit, with fewer guests and often breathtakingly beautiful weather. Please make an appointment to visit us soon—we've missed seeing you!
Your friends at DG