Low yielding, early, complex. While 2015 was another dry year; late winter rains fully recharged the soil profile giving the vines an excellent push come spring. This balance between fruit and canopy allowed for dappled sunlight and encouraged the development of complex flavors. We already expected a smaller vintage after three years of drought, then cool temperatures extended bloom resulting in even lighter crop loads. For Dutton Ranch this manifested in even smaller than usual clusters with an abundance of seedless hens and chicks grapes. Thankfully the upside of a smaller crop is the wonderful concentration of aromas and flavor. This is a fantastic vintage for our Russian River site demonstrating what makes Dutton Ranch so sought after and special to us.
Honey, dried hay, and poached pear come together to create a very complex and interesting nose. Stewed apple and freshly rained on gravel increase the autumnal associations with this wine. In the mouth this wine has a bright, clean entry with a zesty acidity leading through to notes of brioche and stone fruits, finally finishing with a hint of warmth that leads to a round, voluminous and clean finish.
Our fruit continues to come from one of the cooler locations at Dutton Ranch’s Mill’s Station Vineyard. We pick from two blocks, one planted to a long-forgotten clone and a more modern fruit forward clone 76 producing lovely layers of intrigue and pleasure. The dark yellowish fine, sandy loam of the Gold Ridge soils and OLD vines make this site a pleasure to work with every year.