2013 Walker Hill Vineyard Chardonnay
The rudder in crafting Dutton-Goldfield wines is our endeavor to produce wines that our winemakers love to drink. We see no more reliable assessment, and besides, it covers our downside risk. Walker Chardonnay is a wine we hugely love to drink, and owes its existence to that fact. We’ve been producing wine from the old Wente vines up at Walker since 2006 for our Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, and the preponderance of the barrels still support that program; but the 2011 Walker was the jewel of the year for Dan and a designated bottling just had to be done. This wine is everything we want of Green Valley Chardonnay: powerful citrus fruit and tense acidity wrapped in the candied setting of classic chardonnay winemaking. The block, planted in the early ‘80s, is situated 500 vertical feet above Purrington Creek on fluffy Goldridge soil. The vines produce the tiny berries and thick skins we so love from old Wente in Green Valley. The 2013 season at Walker was a near carbon copy of 2012, giving us another delicious vintage that brought out the stone fruits and a touch of tropical exotica to highlight the vineyard’s trademark citrus character. The nose entices with its Meyer lemon crème brulee essence, with a bit of extra mango/banana creaminess. The toasty caramel notes give way to a mélange of citrus as it sits in the glass, accented by a whiff of ginger. The mouth is fresh with lemon and tangerine, both bracing with its bright acidity and rounded out by its butterscotch notes. This combination of lively brightness and richness make it a perfect match for creamy seafood dishes, but we mostly catch Dan just drinking it on its own. 311 cases produced.
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