2014 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 with thick skins we so love from old Wente in Green Valley. Our old vine chardonnays from Green Valley are amazing: they produce gorgeous fruit consistently no matter what Mother Nature gives them--like three drought years in a row. The 2014 vintage is as robust and lively as we could want from this site. The aromas draw you in with lemon oil, tangerine, mango, a touch of hazelnut and a whiff of gardenia. The mouth is the perfect balance of crisp acidity and creamy decadence that has you reaching for another sip. It’s like a key lime pie with a little bruleed meringue on top. The uber-citrus gives the mid-palate a beautiful lift, while the creamy toasty notes provide just the right softening to complement the zesty finish. As always, Dan usually drinks this all on its own, but we also love it with creamy seafood or fowl dishes that counterpoint the brightness of the wine. Production: 431 cases.
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