Pinot Noir – my first non Bordeaux love, before my Rhone mistress. You never forget your first real experience with a woman; Pinot Noir, thankfully ahead of Sideways, awoke my palate after many years of Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet, Merlot, etc.) I was seduced by this seductive, layered, complex varietal that didn’t require tannin condom on my tongue to drink.
I speak passionately about Rhones, but a elegant, silky Pinot Noir fills a void no other wine does.
I had a very pleasant re-visit to Dutton during my frenetic garagiste harvest. Consumer sales guru Martini Bagget had been corresponding with me to stop in. Dutton Estate’s tasting room is casual and non-pretentious, which worked well since I was coming back from Saralee Vineyards with my trailer after dropping off bins, in harvest attire. It was a quick stop from Saralee , so I decided to treat myself to a visit amidst the fall frenzy of activity.
Unfortunately I didn’t make a blog about my entire tasting – but sometimes even wine writers ‘just enjoy’, and I did. Martini was a very gracious, enthusiastic hostess.
My goal for Wine of the Week is to share a special wine I think others will enjoy, and will strive for something in reach of most. Granted, at ~$45, this is a bit higher than others, but small lot, well made Pinot Noir simply isn’t inexpensive. Like an expensive mistress, it’s a high maintenance grape that needs special attention, and comes with a higher production cost for a true Pinot Noir experience.
Dutton Estate is a grower first, vintner second, managing 80 distinct vineyards in Russian River Valley, much located in Green Valley. Thomas Road is planted with Dijon clone 115, which produces a darker, bolder Pinot Noir. Nonetheless this Pinot Noir maintains her form. Don’t let the clonal descriptors through you off, this is not a Syrah tainted Pinot.
I wish I had created this quote myself, but I must share one of the Cellartracker reviews: “A big, curvy, sexy Pinot, stuffed into a simple elegant dress…” This is a woman, not a girl.
To The Eye: Garnet. Modestly opaque, unfiltered.
On The Nose: Cranberry, black cherry, spice, and a hint of earth
In The Mouth: Bold front palate; black fruit, cherry; wonderful mid palate, lush, nice mouth feel. Fruit carries through to a nice finish, with lingering acidity.
Where To Buy: Online on their website, $48
Food Pairing: This Pinot has enough heft to stand up to a number of meats – Lamb. Filet Mignon. Duck.
Other Info: 14.4 % Alcohol. Only 15 barrels (375 cases, unless using Napa math) made
Recommendation: A Russian River Pinot Noir worthy of a spot in your cellar. Not quite as delicate as other Pinot Noirs I often favor, but seduced me nonetheless.
Rating: Outstanding, 91 points
Cheers and thanks for reading Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog !